Chairman of Parliamentary Committee stresses the need to enhance ties with diaspora

Chairman of Cyprus Parliamentary Committee on Foreign and European Affairs Yiorgos Lillikas has said that it is the duty of Greece and Cyprus to continue to grow and strengthen the ties with their diaspora and to support it in every possible way.

Lillikas was addressing the 11th General Assembly of the World Hellenic Interparliamentary Association which began on Monday in Athens.

According to a PIO press release, the Cyprus House delegation, which attends the Assembly, also comprises the acting Chairman of the Committee Nicos Tornaritis and its members George Loucaides and Christiana Erotocritou

In his speech, Lillikas also referred to the current difficult conditions and serious challenges for Cyprus and Greece. Referring in particular to the results of the recent Conference on Cyprus in Crans Montana, he criticized Turkeys intransigence and anachronistic attitude that led to the failure of the Conference, saying that the neighbouring country was unwilling to abandon the permanent presence of Turkish troops, guarantees and interventionist rights in Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of the UN-backed Cyprus talks in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, ended inconclusively.

Lillikas also spoke of the need for a strategy that would curb the Turkish intransigence and pave the way for a just solution to the Cyprus problem.

He also noted the need for a strong economy, stressing the need to reform and modernize the two states, making them more productive and effective.

He also urged diaspora to help promote Greece and Cyprus in the countries where they live with a view to attract foreign investments.

He further stressed the geostrategic position and the potential role of Cyprus and Greece as stabilizing actors in the southeast Mediterranean region and as pillars of cooperation, security and peace among all neighbouring countries. Lillikas also pointed out the opportunities for developing and implementing the energy prospects of Cyprus and Greece

The Cypriot MP referred to the role of the parliamentarians of the diaspora, who set up a powerful network of influential decision-makers throughout the world. He also stressed that Cyprus needs a strong Greece, while Greece needs a free Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus News Agency