According to President Nicos Anastasiades of Cyprus, the idea of any European state lagging behind other European states terms of human rights and fundamental freedoms is nothing short of appalling, and that Cyprus should make sure that it can never fall into this dreaded situation.

Speaking at the national memorial service of 1955-1959 EOKA heroes of Neo Chorio Pafos community, the Cypriot President stressed upon the importance of fundamental freedoms and human rights, saying that it is unacceptable for military intervention to stay in the country forever, given its adverse effects on the sense of security of Greek Cypriots. He even added that the country can never accept to serve the interests of another third country or become a protectorate.

While the President does understand certain compromises need to be made to return the island to the peaceful state it was in once, he also conveyed the fact that he knows the extent of said compromises, and can never allow the State to accept anything that tramples upon the rights of the Greek Cypriots and make them feel small and ignored in front of their Turkish counterparts.

Emphasizing on the need for a peaceful and stable country, especially for the upcoming generations, President Anastasiades stated that peace can only prevail when basic human rights are accepted, and when there are conditions that will inculcate good conscience. He concluded his speech by saying that the need of the hour is to create a European state that is stable, durable, does not discriminate on any grounds whatsoever and protect its citizens against any and all forms and manifestations of injustice.

Cyprus has notably been a divided country since 1974, when the Turks invaded and took over the island country’s northern third. It has since been a constant strife and series of negotiations, with the latest round of UN-sponsored negotiations having ended inconclusively in July 2017 in Crans-Montana, Switzerland.