“Through our seamless unity we affirm our strong conviction that, as a nation, we are now well aware that we achieve the great and important things when we are united,” President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos said in his speech on Sunday at the 10th memorial ceremony for the late president of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos.
Division, by contrast, has led to national tragedies and defeats, even the loss of parts of the body of the nation, he added.
At the 10th memorial service for Tassos Papadopoulos, Pavlopoulos said, all parts of the Greek world are united in the struggle to restore the unity, freedom, integrity and full sovereignty of Cyprus – a goal for which the late Cyprus president had fought throughout his life. He also stressed, however, that such a solution must be fully in accord with international and European law, since Cyprus was an inseparable part of both the international community, the European Union and the EU’s inner core, the eurozone.
“All Greeks are present and united, steadily and sincerely supporting the Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, who has with courage and determination undertaken to bring this great mission to completion,” Pavlopoulos said.
Talking about Papadopoulos’ life and achievements, the Greek president praised Papadopoulos’ decision to hold a referendum on a proposed Cyprus solution in 2004, describing his stance as “highly democratic” and noted that, while he had not lived to see the island reunited or the departure of Turkish troops, his efforts to make Cyprus a part of the EU and the eurozone had been crowned with success.
“This is today the great support and crucial springboard for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus issue and, in consequence, to restoring the Cyprus Republic as an entity with full respect for international and European law,” he added.
He pledged that the struggle to solve the Cyprus issue will continue as long as occupation troops remained on the island and until the island’s integrity and full sovereignty are restored.
According to Pavlopoulos, this was an obligation, especially at this time, “when the conjunction calls us to defend the Cyprus Republic not only on its own account but also because, in addition, through it we are automatically defending international and European legality.”
Summing up, Pavlopoulos noted that Greece and Cyprus have actively demonstrated their sincere desire for a swift resolution of the Cyprus problem through a fair and viable solution but one that that is fully compatible with both international and European law and all this entails.
Any departure from this, he added, “would cast the Cyprus Republic’s smooth progress within the international community and especially the EU and the eurozone in doubt. In addition, it would lead to the creation of an extremely bad precedent for the international community, even more so for the EU, and for the full sovereignty of its member-states under European law.”
Such a solution, the Greek president said, must feature a state organised on federal lines, since any form of confederation “is inconceivable in terms of the institutional standards that any EU member-state must comply with in order to effectively ensure application of the European acquis.”
It must also have a single international legal entity, with a single nationality for its citizens, while Cyprus state agencies must have full powers to exercise their sovereignty, both at home and abroad.
This precluded the presence of both occupation troops on Cyprus territory and third-party guarantees, he added.
The memorial service was also attended by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades. Afterwards, Pavlopoulos laid a wreath at the Tassos Papadopoulos’ grave.