President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades appealed to all to show individual and collective responsibility, a sense of social solidarity, to follow the instructions of scientists, the vaccination program and to strictly adhere to the protection protocols.
In a televised message on the occasion of the New Year, President Anastasiades said the protection of life and the hope of safeguarding individual freedoms is a right as well as a duty of all of us.
On the Cyprus problem, President Anastasiades assured of his determination and persistence in finding a functional and viable solution, which will reunite our country and liberate it from the Turkish occupying army or any dependence on third countries.
The President further expressed optimism that “despite the ordeals that we have and are going through, the new year will be one of creation and hope.”
In his message, the President said “we are at the end of another year of ordeals, as the pandemic that has struck humanity continues to threaten the lives and health, the economic survival and well-being of citizens, the health systems and the financial stability of countries.”
He said his thoughts are with the families that lost their loved ones, with the children that became orphans and with those who lost the people who supported them.
“My thoughts are also with the people who are hospitalised or sick. I empathise with the people who are in their homes, anxious for the fate of their loved ones”, the President said and wished each and everyone a speedy recovery, faith, strength and courage to all those who received the heaviest blow of the pandemic.
On behalf of the state and himself personally, the President conveyed “affection and gratitude to the front-line professionals, who are away from their families, struggling with invisible dangers to save lives, to provide treatment, to give courage and strength to people in need of love and affection”.
Noting the New Year finds us facing a new dangerous and sweeping outbreak of the pandemic, President Anastasiades said “what is comforting and hopeful is that this time we are not defenceless and we do not face an invisible enemy. Thanks to human intelligence, thanks to science, today we can effectively address the threats, we can protect others as well as ourselves from the risks of the pandemic.”
The President remarked that the “Republic of Cyprus, in a coordinated way, and with the help and sacrifices of the vast majority of citizens, has managed to rank among the countries that distinguished themselves, both in successfully addressing the disease and in managing the financial consequences of the restrictive measures that were taken by necessity.”
Noting the new pandemic wave has become dominant in countries around the world, the President said unfortunately it is “bringing back the strict restrictive measures, with undesirable consequences for all”.
“Cyprus cannot be an exception, but it can again be – and I stress this – the successful example of crisis response and management”, the president said, adding “what is required is individual and collective responsibility, a sense of social solidarity, an act of responsibility that can manifest itself through the use of the scientific potential that the state generously offers.”
Turning to the Cyprus problem, he said “unfortunately, another year has gone by without any progress in the efforts that we are determinately committed to, in order to put an end to the occupation and to reunify our country.”
He recalled that the informal conference in Geneva in April and the joint meeting of the two leaders with the UN Secretary-General in September, did not bring an end to the deadlock, and this is because, with their written proposals, the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey formalised their long-term objectives, which are none other than the definitive division of Cyprus, and the creation of a fully-controlled, independent, in inverted commas, Turkish Cypriot state.
The recent publication of the verbatim UN minutes, of what happened in Crans Montana in July 2017, but also the confirmation by the Turkish Foreign Minister during his speech at the Turkish National Assembly on 13 December, said the President, “not only refute the contrary narratives of various people, but also prove who was responsible for the occasional deadlocks in the long negotiations for the settlement of the Cyprus problem.”
Despite Turkey’s unacceptable claims and the violations of UN resolutions that are recorded either in the occupied territory or through the dispute of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus at sea, said President Anastasiades, “I would like to assure you that our determination and persistence in finding a functional and viable solution, which will reunite our country and liberate it from the occupying army or any dependence on third countries, will not be bent”.
The multidimensional foreign policy we pursue, he said, “by using the possibilities offered by the European Union, maintaining connections with traditionally friendly countries, developing strategic cooperation with all the countries of the region and new transatlantic friends, is also within this framework”.
The aim, he added, is to provide the Republic of Cyprus with an international shield, but also create the conditions for the resumption of a creative dialogue, which will lead us to a permanent solution always based on the High-Level Agreements and the resolutions and decisions of the UN, as well as the European acquis. “A solution that will meet the expectations and concerns of both communities”, President Anastasiades said.
Noting that this new year will be the last one of his presidency, Anastasiades said he wants it to be “a year bold in decisions, but equally creative and beneficial for the people and our country. My aim is to complete a series of reforms that will lay the foundations for the Cyprus of tomorrow.”
Reforms, he noted, which concern, among other things, the modernisation of the judicial system, the public service, local government, the further promotion of digital transformation, the enactment of a series of laws that would ensure transparency, accountability and more effective combat of corruption.
It will be a year in which financial stability will be strengthened, the General Health System will be shielded, and policies that guarantee the welfare state that we have built will be completed, he said.
He further remarked the new year “will be a year of further development of our energy programme, but also of completion or launching of major development and emblematic projects, which will ensure a better quality of life for citizens”, noting the targets have no ideological tint and are projects and policies that concern the best interest of our society as a whole.
Concluding, he said, “these are objectives that we share with the political forces and this is why I believe that in this great effort, I will have their unanimous support.