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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

PtD: Decided on the appointment of a Commissioner for Expatriates

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ΠτΔ: Αποφασισ ε τον διορισμo Επιτρoπου για θeμ&alpha ;τα Αποδorμων

The President of the Republic, Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis, announced his decision to appoint a Commissioner exclusively for Expatriate issues this evening, who attended a dinner hosted in his honor by the National Cypriot Federation of the United Kingdom, at the house of the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood, in London.

Before the Federation dinner, the President of the Republic had a meeting with expatriate relatives of missing persons whom he informed about the ongoing efforts, with the aim of ascertaining the fate of their loved ones.

He also had a private meeting with the leadership of the National Cypriot Federation.

During the dinner, President Christodoulidis said in his greeting, among other things, that "it is always with feelings of special emotion and joy that I am here again in the UK and London. Every visit I make here brings back memories of many experiences and faces.

It is here that, several years ago, around 21, I took my first steps as a diplomat. Our High Commission in London was my first diplomatic post and I had the great honor and blessing to serve as the Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus. It was an honor, a blessing, and also a great privilege to be assigned this position, because among many other things it gave me the opportunity to get to know the members of the UK Cypriot Parish.

Through the status of Consul General I participated with you in many events. We have shared happy times, sad times, shared personal joys and sorrows, and I have had the privilege and satisfaction of helping and supporting, always to the best of my ability, in dealing with problems you have had.

Over all, however, from the first meeting with the members of the Cypriot Parish, I have known and experienced the great and selfless love and concern of all of you for our homeland, for our Cyprus and your interest in the end of the occupation and its reunification of our country.

Many years have passed since then, but I have never ceased to be in touch with you and to visit you again and again either as a friend or through my capacity as Government Representative and subsequently as Minister of Foreign Affairs. I met many valuable members and executives of Parikia during all these years. And I am glad to see many young people among us who are also the future of our parish and their presence here shows the future that our parish also has in Britain.

Some of those I met and worked with are no longer alive and some are still in this room today, they are the veterans, the backbone of the parish. So many people who share the double pain of foreignness and distance from their beloved Cyprus, but also, at the same time,  of the tragic results of the Turkish invasion, and the continued occupation.

I want to emphasize, however, that in all these years, the members of the Cypriot community of the United Kingdom still strongly share something more important, which is also the shield of all of us who temporarily participate in the decision-making process in our homeland. They share and fight essentially, they have the unquenchable fortitude to return to our occupied homeland, the stubbornness not to allow the achievements of the Turkish invasion to be legalized. They have the unquenchable flame of hope that our occupied homeland will be free and reunited again.

I stand with you tonight for the first time as the President of the Republic of Cyprus, and I want to thank you and tell you on behalf of the Cypriot State how proud we are of all of you, for the work that has been carried out over time and the effort you offer for our homeland.

I want to assure you that this stubbornness and strength of Parikia gives all of us the strength to continue the struggle until the final vindication, liberation and reunification of our homeland.

I feel the need, much more so as the President of the Republic, to mention it. I experienced it from the first moment I was with you, you may come from different parties, you may have different ideologies, but at the end of the day, and it is proven through your actions, your party is Cyprus, it is our homeland and I really hope that some people in Cyprus learn, that we all learn to operate on the basis of your own behavior.

The highest priority of my own administration is the breaking of the deadlock and the resumption of talks for a resolution of the Cyprus issue, the need to reunite our country on the basis of the agreed solution framework, with one sovereignty, one citizenship, one international personality, in accordance with the UN resolutions, EU principles and values, the acquis communautaire. The Republic of Cyprus is a member state of the EU and will continue to be so after the resolution of the Cyprus issue.

We are working for a solution that will make Cyprus a normal and functional state, without dependencies, without any anachronistic guarantees and without occupying troops. Which allows the State and all its legal citizens to live in conditions of prosperity, security, mutual respect and application of human rights for all.

For me, the prospect of resolving the Cyprus issue, the effort for a solution, is a one-way street. The division of Cyprus as a result of the invasion and occupation by Turkey, is a huge anomaly in the heart of Europe and cannot under any circumstances be the future of our homeland.

Our efforts are focused on breaking the deadlock, through a leading role of the EU, and always within the framework of the United Nations. And it is precisely for this reason that immediately after assuming my duties, I launched a major diplomatic effort, with the aim of mutual benefit for all involved in the Cyprus issue through the security, stability and prosperity that its solution can provide of Cyprus.

In particular, our goal is the interconnection of Euro-Turkish relations with the resumption of negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus issue, on the basis of the agreed form of solution with a content of European specifications. Our aim is to develop a comprehensive debate in the EU and, to achieve this we are working very methodically and very concretely, we have already elaborated a relevant policy document, with a key point being the appointment of a political figure from the European Union who will take the reins towards this direction. And we persist in the direction of the EU because it has the appropriate toolbox, those incentives to be able to lead us through a mutually beneficial process to positive developments in the Cyprus issue.

Developments that will turn the European citizens of Cyprus into first-class citizens and not second-class citizens, as they are today, since after so many years they are still deprived of their human rights and basic freedoms in their own homeland, experiencing daily the tragic consequences of the Turkish occupation.

I am in London coming from France, where I had a very constructive and meaningful discussion with the French President on this issue, among other issues, but in particular on the need for the EU to take a more active role. While I would like to inform you that in May I will also go to Berlin to see how we can coordinate our actions with the aim of breaking the deadlock and restarting the talks from where they left off in Crans Montana.

I know very well the difficulties, I know the problems, I know the Turkish approach, the Turkish view in relation to the solution of the Cyprus problem. I know, however, that the passing of time also creates new fait accompli, creates more difficulties and further distances the prospect of reunification, which for us is not an option. The legalization of the current state of affairs cannot be the future of our country. 

I took over the government of the country in a difficult period, two months and some days ago, and I know very well the high, I would rightfully say, society's expectations.

I will march these five years, just as I did during the election campaign, together with the people, together with society, in constant consultation with them, without populism, without nice words, but neither divisive approaches.

My pre-election program is my social contract with the Cypriot people and I will proceed based on it.

In addition to the Cypriot one, since the first day of assuming my duties we have been working to face another big challenge that we have in Cyprus, a challenge that goes beyond the borders of our country and is that of accuracy as a result of inflationary trends. Again, and in this matter, far from inexpensive provision and with the need to maintain fiscal discipline – for us this is a priority because if there is no fiscal discipline you cannot have a social policy – we proceeded to specific, targeted actions.

Just yesterday we proceeded to implement a zero VAT rate on a number of basic everyday goods to help the Cypriot family. A few days ago, we proceeded to create a digital platform, a digital tool for immediate and better information of consumers on market prices, thus attempting to ensure transparency, the ability to compare prices on a daily basis and, by extension, immediate information of all households for the prices, we extended the measures to subsidize the cost of electricity consumption and the excise duty on fuel, we presented new plans that utilize renewable energies while at the same time expanding the beneficiaries, while within the framework of our social policy, a policy which has the Man at its center, we have taken the initiative, always within the framework of our capabilities, but also the framework in which we can operate as an executive power, towards the banking institutions, the credit acquisition companies and the managers of credit facilities companies of the country us for the need to reduce lending rates and reduce charges and increase deposit rates.

And I am glad that there is already a response and I hope that in the coming days there will be other related announcements, such as from our side to deal with the challenges I mentioned above, especially for some of our compatriots.

We are at the beginning of our reign, I am returning from my campaign presence here in the fraternity a few months earlier. The challenges, whether they concern our national issue, which I know you are very interested in, or whether they concern internal governance issues, which you are also interested in and are following, are too many.

However, we have the plan, we have the planning and based on this we have been working since the first day, with our main goal to justify the Cypriot society that was the one that raised us to power and to this, I make it clear, we have to be accountable and prove within from our works, through the everyday way we conduct ourselves, that he did the right thing.

In closing, I would like to say that in this course of our government, our homogeneity is very high. I said before that I had the blessing to work with you, I had the blessing as a student to get to know the community in the US as well, I had the blessing as a diplomat to get to know our community in Athens, so I know very well what expatriate means, what right means capitalizing on homogeneity, especially in the current phase where we are in a transitional period with the new generation of our family taking the reins. And it is for this reason that the intention of the Government, which will be announced soon, is the appointment of a Commissioner, who will have exclusive responsibility for the issues of our Expatriates.

For his part, the President of the National Cypriot Federation, Mr. Christos Karaolis, welcoming the President of the Republic, said that “with great pleasure we welcome you, together with the first lady and your entourage, Mr. President, and thank you very much for accepting the our invitation to meet and inform the Federation and the diaspora, so soon after your election.  We warmly congratulate you on your election as President of the Republic of Cyprus, last February, and wish you every success in the difficult task you are undertaking.

The National Cypriot Federation and our parish support the tireless efforts you are making for the resumption of talks for a just solution to the Cyprus problem, with your interlocutor Ersin Tatar. Of course, this will also depend on the elections that will be held this month in Turkey and Greece.

Today, we are all living through a defining period for world peace, with the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the death and destruction it has left in its wake. We condemn the Russian invasion and at the same time remind the powerful of the earth, and especially in the country where we live, the apathy with which they faced the Turkish invasion, and  occupation of Cyprus, in July '74.

Unfortunately, Cyprus continues to face Turkish intransigence. Are ads to promote the pseudo-state on the rise? are threats to open hotels in the besieged city of Varosi increasing? and the provocative statements of Turkey and Mr. Tatar on the creation of two states are increasing.

Here in England we are responding to misinformation and refuting Turkish propaganda. Last year, the Advertising Standards Agency received the third highest number of complaints about fake state advertising in Britain, following a campaign by the Federation. In recent years, every July, our electronic campaign, for the end of the Turkish occupation and the freedom of Cyprus, (email campaign Turkey – Hands Off Cyprus) finds a great response from our compatriots in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Scotland , Wales, and the whole of the United Kingdom. We congratulate and thank the diaspora, and our many British friends, who helped us last year to contact 472 MPs (73% of MPs), who received emails from their constituents about Cyprus.

Today, more than ever, we believe that awareness of the great historical responsibility of all of us is needed. We need unity and national unity. Despite the Turkish threats and provocations, the continuous Turkish propaganda and disinformation, we, with the cooperation of the High Commissioner, the Ambassador of Greece, and the Archbishop of Thyateira, continue our united struggles to end the Turkish occupation. The National Cypriot Federation and the British diaspora express our solidarity and support to the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulidis, in this struggle. The goods of the European Union, the peaceful tomorrow, progress and prosperity belong to all the inhabitants of our island,  Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins.

Mr. Karaolis emphasized that President Christodoulidis has served Cyprus in many distinguished positions, noting that his undivided dedication to Cyprus and the well-being of its citizens is an inspiration, while his guidance was extremely important in shaping Cypriot foreign policy.< /p>

Mr. Karaolis also referred to the presence of NEPOMAK representatives at the dinner, noting the love of the new generation of emigrants for Cyprus, and assuring that as long as the Turkish occupation of the homeland continues, future generations will maintain it with their own struggle the Cyprus issue on the political agenda of the United Kingdom.

He assured, moreover, of the determination of the Cypriot diaspora to support the efforts of the President of the Republic to resolve the Cyprus issue, on the basis of the bi-zonal bi-communal federation and the European acquis.

Finally, Mr. Karaolis underlined that the party of the homogeneity is one and it is none other than Cyprus.

At the dinner the President of the Republic was accompanied by his wife Ms. Filippa Karseras Christodoulidis , while the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain also attended. Nikitas, the High Commissioner of Democracy in Britain Mr. Andreas Kakouris, the Government Spokesman Mr. Konstantinos Letympiotis, the Director of the Diplomatic Office of the President Mrs. Marilena Raunas, the Ambassador of Greece in Britain, officials of the expatriate community and a large number of expatriates.

Source: www.sigmalive.com

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