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Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias’ statement on the 46th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus (20 July 2020)
Forty-six years ago today, on 20 July 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus. Over one third of the island has been occupied for forty-six years. For forty-six years, Hellenism has continued to experience the drama of the families of the Missing Persons, the uprooting of thousands from their ancestral homes, the looting and destruction of Greek and Orthodox heritage, the seizure of the property of the Greeks of Cyprus.
Forty-six years of Turkish violations of the relevant Resolutions of the UN Security Council. Resolutions that, among other things, call on all states to respect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, and demand the withdrawal of occupation troops from its territory.
Today, Greece and Cyprus are the focus of escalating and broadening Turkish violations of international legality – violations that jeopardise security and stability in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region. Greece and Cyprus are countering Turkey’s aggression and illegal actions with their commitment to international legality and International Law. In continuous cooperation and coordination, we are working systematically to develop and deepen regional cooperation with the states of the Eastern Mediterranean, based on mutual respect and unhindered exercise of our sovereign rights, as defined by International Law and the Law of the Sea.
We shall never accept the consequences of the turkish invasion. Greek foreign policy is firmly committed to ending the occupation and securing the withdrawal of occupation troops and the abolition of Guarantees and rights of intervention, in the framework of a comprehensive, mutually acceptable, just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on the Resolutions of the UN Security Council and the European acquis.
Committed to these principles, Greece fully supports the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to resume the negotiations on the settlement of the Cyprus problem. Only an agreed settlement can terminate the ongoing agony and wash away the brutal injustices suffered by the people of Cyprus. Until this is achieved, Greece shall remain firmly committed to this national objective, thus honouring all those who fell, gone missing and are still living having fought for the liberty of Cyprus.