Cyprus President: Salute to US independence

Address by the President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, at the reception of the USA Ambassador to Cyprus on the occasion of the 246th anniversary of the Independence of the USA

It is both an honour and a pleasure to join you on the occasion of the 246th Anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America.

We celebrate a truly special day for the United States when Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers created the declaration of independence, a historic statement that structured democratic governance and formed a new nation.

A statement whose ideals and legacy of freedom, equality, liberty, justice and prosperity inspired numerous movements that followed thereafter, in pursuit of independence and freedom.

On this day of celebration, I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the excellent and growing partnership we have established these past years between Cyprus and the US and for the shared vision to further enhance it in a tangible manner.

Our relationship has notably progressed to one of strategic depth, amongst others, through:

→         The signing of a Statement of Intent on Security Issues with the aim of strengthening our bilateral relations by outlining specific steps of enhanced co-operation at all levels and in addressing common challenges and problems.

→         Our joint commitment and close-cooperation in the fight against terrorism, human and drugs trafficking, cyber and maritime security.

→         The US investment in CYCLOPS, an excellent regional training center which brings closer together Cyprus, the United States and other partners in crucial security fields.

→          The involvement of American energy giants, namely ExxonMobil, Noble and now Chevron in our Exclusive Economic Zone, which constitutes another tangible sign of trust in the role of Cyprus as a reliable regional actor.

→        The Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act, which establishes the institutional framework for energy and security cooperation between the USA and Cyprus – Greece – Israel and an act through which the US partially lifted its arms embargo on Cyprus.

→         The US support to the numerous trilateral mechanisms of co-operation we have established with the aim to foster regional predictability and stability, in particular through the 3+1 platform we have set up with Greece and Israel and the US participation as an observer in the EastMed Gas Forum.

The above-mentioned initiatives and developments are already yielding concrete results for both our countries, as well as for key allies in the Eastern Mediterranean and I wish to assure you, Ambassador Garber, of my Government’s and personal determination and commitment to continue working closely with the US administration in order to explore new areas of beneficial cooperation.

The Declaration’s ideals and values of the right for the people to be able to freely dictate their fate within their nation, without external interventions, not only constitutes a fundamental principle of international relations and of the UN Charter, but becomes even more relevant and necessary following the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

An invasion which the international community not only immediately condemned but also demonstrated its unwavering solidarity to the Ukrainian people through political, financial, humanitarian and military support.

At the same time, we have been clear in our stance of urging for the need for diplomacy and prudence to prevail so as to bring about a ceasefire and pave the way for ending this devastating war at our continent.

A war in the heart of Europe which has painful resemblances from Cyprus’ own experience, since Moscow’s excuses of allegedly “trying to protect Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine” has been used in the same manner as a pretext by Turkey to invade Cyprus in 1974.

But even in the face of adversity, including the failures of the past at the negotiating table due to Turkey’s intransigence, Turkey’s illegal actions in the sea and on the ground, as well as the insistence for a settlement in violation of international law, we recall once again the Declaration’s ideals of freedoms and justice in our efforts to reach a comprehensive, viable and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue.

We look to the future and we will continue promoting initiatives and ideas that will establish the necessary conditions for the resumption of the negotiating process, as per my proposal for the adoption of Bold Confidence Building Measures that would help address concerns and build trust between the two communities.

And up until the last day of term in office I will continue my tireless efforts in reaching a settlement that will reunite Cyprus on the agreed basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, in line with the UN Security Council Resolutions, since we cannot afford to turn the Cyprus issue into yet another “frozen conflict”.

To this end, it is of utmost importance and I refer to my Turkish Cypriot compatriots to remain committed to the continuation of the dialogue, abandon any unacceptable demands and preconditions that do not, in any way or form, serve the interests of the Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots alike.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to underline my deep appreciation for the principled stance and the continuous US support on the Cyprus problem, including on the need for Ankara to refrain from acts that violate UN Security Council Resolutions and international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

In thanking, once again, Judith and Paul for hosting us tonight, I ask you to raise your glasses and join me in a toast to the enduring friendship, prosperity and the strategic ties between the Republic of Cyprus and the United States of America.

About Famagusta Gazette 9536 Articles
In addition to our Mediterranean perspective, Famagusta Gazette publish extensive coverage of world news, travel and tourism features, and financial information. Follow us on Twitter @FamagustaG