The Presidential Commissioner Mr. Photis Photiou will participate and speak at the following webinars :
- 19/7/2021 - It’s time for reunification
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Cyprus and the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK will be hosting our annual parliamentary meeting, to mark the anniversary of the Turkey’s illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus, virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will take place on Monday 19 July 2021 from 7:15pm and the whole community is invited to watch the event live, as it happens, by visiting www.cypriotfederation.org.uk/parliament at the annual parliamentary meeting Cyprus: It’s time for reunification, July 19 @ 7:15 pm - 8:45 pm - Watch the event live.
- 20/7/2021 Strengthening US-CYPRUS Relations, In The Face Of Turkish Intransigence
PSEKA Conference Webinar Invitation - 36th Annual Cyprus and Hellenic Leadership Conference - Strengthening US-CYPRUS Relations, In The Face Of Turkish Intransigence. To launch meeting please press here
- 21/7/2021 - Freedom, democracy, citizenship and ethnicity under the rule of law
Lobby for Cyprus schedule the Webinar: Freedom, democracy, citizenship and ethnicity under the rule of law. To register to the webinar please press here
INTERVENTIONS BY THE PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSIONER, Mr PHOTIS PHOTIOU
It is a distinct honour and a great pleasure to be here online with you today at this virtual event entitled “Cyprus: It’s time for reunification”.
- 19/7/2021 Virtual Event entitled “Cyprus: It’s time for reunification” Organized by the APPG for Cyprus and the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK
Let me first commend the organizers (and especially the Chair Honorary Sir Roger and the Officers of the APPG for Cyprus as well as the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in UK, Christos Karaolis), for this initiative and thank them for the opportunity to participate.
I would like to thank Minister Morton, Shadow Minister Hamilton, the Opposition Party Spokespersons, as well as our good friends Sir Roger, Theresa and Bambo and all the Cyprus APPG members for their clear and united message this evening that the only possible solution to end the Turkish occupation is one that is based on the agreed UN parameters.
I would especially like to thank our friends on the Cyprus All Party Parliamentary Group for keeping Cyprus high on the British parliamentary agenda.
Let me also thank our Diaspora and to express our collective, deepest gratitude for everything you have been doing all these years in support of Cyprus, in the UK and worldwide.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I will concentrate my intervention to the open wound of the tragedy of the missing persons and their families.
From a humanitarian point of view, the most tragic consequence of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus is the missing persons. This is a tragedy that causes so much pain and agony to hundreds of families, who are still waiting for nearly half a century to be informed about the fate of their loved ones.
Forty-seven years since the Turkish invasion, around eight hundred Greek-Cypriots are still missing. Regrettably, progress on this serious problem during the past few years is disappointing, to say the least. Time is running out.
Despite the efforts of the CMP and the continuous support of the government of Cyprus the number of remains exhumed and identified by DNA falls dramatically year by year.
The basic reason for this situation is the refusal of Turkey to cooperate sincerely and constructively to solve even the humanitarian aspect of the tragedy.
Turkey should show respect to the European Institutions by implementing the 2001 judgement of the European Court of Human Rights and subsequence resolutions of the Council of Europe, United Nations, and other international organizations. In this respect, Turkey should allow unimpeded access to the CMP’s archaeological teams in the so-called military zones in the occupied areas, provide to the Committee all the information from its military archives concerning burial places, inform the Committee of the places of reburial of remains that were purposely removed from the original places of burial. As a result of this, only fragmented skeletal elements are located. The worse, however, is that the families receive for burial only small parts of skeletal elements of their loved ones, something that prevents the families from proceeding to a closure.
On our part we exert every possible effort so all Turkish Cypriot families are informed about the fate of their loved ones.
I take this opportunity to kindly request you to contribute in whatever way you consider appropriate, in the United Kingdom, to assist the efforts to solve the tragedy of the missing persons to the sake of the families concerned.
I feel that at this critical juncture, the need for the UK to assume a more active involvement and humanitarian initiatives is urgent, than ever before.
In conclusion, I want to clearly state that the correct settlement of the tragedy of the missing persons will not only help to end the suffering of the families but will also contribute to the prospects of the next generations. This will create conditions of trust and reconciliation, elements that are essential and necessary for the reunification of our island.
You can watch the full event by visiting our YouTube channel via https://youtu.be/zO_K9LnYK9g
To see the press release press here
The 47th dark Anniversary of Turkey’s illegal invasion and continued occupation
It is a distinct honor to be here, online with you, at the 36th Annual Cyprus and Hellenic Leadership Conference.
Let me first commend PSEKA and the organizers (Philip, Andy and Mike) and all contributors for this brilliant initiative and thank them for the opportunity to participate.
Forty-seven years ago, this day, Turkey invaded Cyprus, violating basically all known rules of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations.
From a humanitarian point of view, probably the most tragic consequence of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus is the missing persons. During and after the Turkish invasion, thousands of Greek-Cypriots were arrested and held in concentration camps in Cyprus by Turkish soldiers and paramilitaries, operating under the Turkish army.
I take this opportunity to thank all Diaspora leaders and key-policymakers on the Hill for their active engagement in promoting legislation on the matter. Forty-seven years since the Turkish invasion, around eight hundred people are still missing – two of them American citizens. Regrettably, progress on this serious problem during the past few years is disappointing, to say the least. Time is running out. I feel that at this critical juncture, the need for the US to assume a more active involvement and humanitarian initiatives is urgent, than ever before.
We highly value US interest and active involvement in recent years in the efforts to end tensions, in order to be able to resume negotiations to achieve a comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus Question.
Earlier today, we were all witnessing the escalation of the provocative actions of Turkey in the fenced area of Varosha. As you are all well aware, any action on the ground towards a direction opposite from the transfer of the area to the administration of the UN so as to allow for the return of the lawful inhabitants of the area to their homes is a violation of the provisions of the relevant UN SC Resolutions.
Ladies and gentlemen,
During these past years the relationship between Cyprus and the US has significantly strengthened both at the bilateral and multilateral level. There is a growing political desire and commitment to deepen and broaden our ties with the United States, in all areas. It is important that we carry this momentum forward, to the benefit of our countries and peoples.
The role of the organized Diaspora, as a pressure group in major decision-making centers around the World, and especially in Washington D.C., remains indispensable and of great importance.
We owe them a great debt for continuing the preservation of our identity, for promoting our rich culture, history and traditions in the US, as well as for sending the clear message that Cyprus remains one of the most predictable, reliable and stable partners of the US in the key region of the eastern Mediterranean.
Thank you once again for today’s event and your warm and supportive messages.
I wish to assure you that the Government of Cyprus, and myself, will continue supporting and strengthening the active engagement of our Diaspora in the enhancement of the bilateral ties between Cyprus and the US, in all possible ways so that we further advance our common objectives.