Tuesday 24 October 2017
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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Venizelos’ statement on the 40th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus

Forty years after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, in 1974, Greece bows to the memory of our fallen brothers and expresses its respect for and gratitude to all the brave Cypriot and Greek defenders of Cyprus who faced the superior forces of the invader in a harsh and unequal confrontation.

Forty years later, the wounds remain open: the ongoing illegal Turkish military occupation and illegal settlement of the occupied territories, the suffering of the families of the missing, the uprooting of over 200,000 displaced brothers of ours, the pillaging of Orthodox places of worship and the ancient monuments of our culture.

Turkey continues to flagrantly violate international legality in Cyprus, state provocatively that it will not comply with Rulings such as the recent Ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, and flout its Cyprus-related obligations to the European Union.

This hard truth is just one side of the current “reality” of the Cyprus issue. There is the other side, the other truth, our truth, which is the tested endurance of the Republic of Cyprus, which is a full and equal member state of the European Union and is recognized as a strategic partner of third countries and a vital factor for stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The termination of the occupation and its consequences and the finding of a nationally acceptable, comprehensive, just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus issue, within the framework of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the European community acquis, are top priorities of Greek foreign policy and a joint strategic goal of Cyprus and Greece. The brotherly cooperation and longstanding coordination of our two states is a source and guarantee of our effectiveness.

Greece will remain at Cyprus’s side, supporting and assisting Cypriot Hellenism. This stance of ours is an historical given, and our course is a common one.

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