House President Demetriou thanks Serbia for undivided Cyprus support

President of the House of Representatives Annita Demetriou has expressed gratitude for the undivided and uninterrupted support by Serbia in Cyprus’ struggle for a viable and fair solution to the Cyprus problem, based on international law, the relevant UN security Council resolutions and European principles.

Demetriou was addressing the Serbian National Assembly in the framework of her official visit to Serbia.

She underlined the clear position of Cyprus for non-recognition of the unilateral independence of Kosovo and assured that the Republic of Cyprus, as an EU member state, supports and will continue to support Serbia’s European prospects.

Addressing the parliament in the presence of the Serbian government and the capital’s diplomatic corps, who welcomed her with a prolonged applause, Demetriou conveyed the appreciation of the members of the House of Representatives and the people of Cyprus, noting that her official visit underlines the “common willingness and commitment to further strengthen and expand the existing excellent relations of the two parliaments for the benefit of both peoples.”

The close relations, said Demetriou, go back in time, in the Yugoslavia era and the Non-Aligned Movement, and are based on powerful historical, cultural and religious bonds and are further strengthened by our dedication to the principles of democracy, justice and peace.

She underlined that these relations of solidarity and mutual support on issues of major importance for each country, as well as relations of strategic orientation, aim at highlighting and consolidating the “important role played by our two countries in the efforts to achieve conditions of peace, security and stability in the strategically important regions of the Balkans and the Mediterranean”.

The House President expressed deep appreciation and recognition of the Serbian people’s contribution to “Cyprus through its participation in the UNFICYP with a Serbian contingent as well as its support to the inalienable right of the Republic of Cyprus to exercise its sovereign rights within the exclusive economic zone”.

Referring to the Cyprus problem, Demetriou said that for more than 40 years after the military invasion and continued occupation by Turkey of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, the people of Cyprus continue to fight for reunification of their land, to get rid of the occupation forces and achieve the return of refugees to their homeland.

She said that we continue to “convey in every direction that our goal was and remains to achieve a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, on the basis of international law, the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and the European principles”.

A solution providing for a bizonal, bicommunal federation, she added, without “anachronistic guarantees, occupation troops”, a solution that will turn Cyprus into a modern, viable and functional state, whose citizens will determine the present and future of the island in conditions of security, stability and harmonious co-existence, as required by our European identity.

Demetriou said that our efforts clash with Turkey’s expansionist policy and intransigence while its provocativeness dangerously increases not only against Cyprus and Greece but also in the wider region.

She said that the Turkish side is demanding a two-state solution, in violation of the relevant UN resolutions and the agreed UN framework for a solution to the Cyprus issue.

We will never accept such unacceptable positions which are outright rejected by the UN, the EU and the international community, underlining that Turkey is also creating new fait accompli on land and in the sea.

“The continued violations in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone and the opening of the fenced-off part of Varosha at the order of the Turkish President, violating UN Security Council resolutions 550 and 789 as well as Erdogan’s declarations to further militarise the occupied areas, are all part of Turkey’s expansionist policy against the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots”, she added.

In her address, before the plenary of the National Assembly of Serbia, the President of the Parliament reaffirmed “the position of principles and the firm support of the Republic of Cyprus in fully respecting the sovereign rights and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia”, stressing that “it is a historical duty” and a clear stance of the Republic of Cyprus not to recognize the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo.

She also welcomed the progress Serbia has achieved in its accession negotiations and said that as an EU member state, the Republic of Cyprus supports and will continue to support the European prospects of Serbia and wished that Serbia will be a member of the European family.

“For Cyprus, Serbia`s accession to the European Union is a prerequisite for consolidating stability in the Balkans, which is inextricably linked to security and stability in Europe, and we support this position within the Union institutions,” she said. Serbia, she added, will “always have a sincere, selfless and stable ambassador, who sincerely believes that Serbia`s future can only be European and certainly a reliable partner after accession”.

She assured that the House of Representatives is ready to provide Serbia with expertise on harmonisation issues in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two parliaments in 2018.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island`s northern third.

Source: Cyprus News Agency