"We must be alert in order to tackle Turkey's provocations", House President says during a dinner hosted by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, CNA 05/07/2023
It is imperative that we are alert, act in a timely, composed and coordinated way in order to fend off Turkey’s provocations, its efforts to get the occupied part Cyprus recognised (as a state) and legitimise the invasion and occupation, House President, Annita Demetriou said on Tuesday evening in London, addressing a dinner hosted by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK.
Addressing the guests, comprised by various generations of UK Cypriots, Demetriou added that in her role as President of the Cypriot House of Representatives she has delivered demarches to counterparts and to international organisations highlighting and condemning Turkey’s illegal actions.
The House Speaker noted that she is in the UK urging support in order for the settlement negotiations to resume, with the goal being non other than “a just and viable settlement within the UN resolutions, which of course means a bizonal, bicommunal federation”.
As she had previously done in meetings with the Speaker of the House of Commons and Chairpersons of the Commons’ Select Committees, Demetriou commented that the situation in Cyprus is not dissimilar to the situation in Ukraine: “There can be no room for double standards in international law. The invasion of Ukraine is the same as the invasion that happened in our Cyprus in 1974,” she added.
As far as her meetings in London are concerned, she said that the main thing on her agenda is to update her interlocutors on the most recent developments regarding the Cyprus issue, but also explore possibilities of further bilateral cooperation on issues and challenges of joint interest.
She told the attendees that she has discussed matters relating to them, expressing her wish for the diaspora to have “active participation, role and say in things concerning Cyprus”. She also described the Cypriots of the diaspora as “an integral part of the Cypriot society”.
Before dinner Demetriou had held a meeting with the leadership of the Federation, discussing her meetings in London and all the issues that are of concern to the diaspora in the UK.
In his introductory remarks, the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Christos Karaolis expressed gratitude and thanks for the time the House Speaker found to listen to their views and meet with diaspora organisations.
He referred to the Federation’s actions, emphasising the ongoing annual online campaign Hands Off Cyprus, which enables Cypriots and others in the UK to contact their MPs asking them to support Cyprus.
During the course of Tuesday Demetriou met with UK Cypriot charities (Olive Branch Aid, Alkyonides UK, Cypriot Community Centre) and other organisations (Famagusta Association of Great Britain, Board of British Cypriots and the Federation).
She also gave a press conference, during which she said that she is realistic about the challenges surrounding the efforts to resume negotiations on the Cyprus issue.
“I am a realist and I can say that things are not easy. So I can’t be either optimistic nor pessimistic about it. What I can say, however, is that every effort is being made to restart negotiations and carry on from where we had stopped,” she commented.
Her visit concludes on Wednesday, with meetings and an official reception at the House.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
For the Press Release of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK as well as photos from the event, press here