GREEK President Karolos Papoulias left Cyprus yesterday after a two-day visit to attend memorial services to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Archbishop President Makarios, and to meet the political leadership.
During a speech at the University of Cyprus on Sunday night, Papoulias said Turkey could not possibly hope to join the EU as long as it continued to occupy part of Cyprus, itself an EU member.
“Turkey’s wish to join the Union and our [Greek] membership provides an important juncture which we have to exploit to resolve the question of Cyprus on the basis of UN and EU principles, respecting the human rights of all Cypriots,” Papoulias said.
The Greek President paid tribute to the late Archbishop, saying he had served his country faithfully, with tenacity and had left his own legacy to his people: to struggle until the Turkish occupation troops withdraw from Cyprus.
“The just cause of the people of Cyprus has not been vindicated yet. Cyprus has taken great strides on the path the late President laid down, which have a painful gap, that of the continuing occupation of the island’s northern part by Turkey,” Papoulias added.
In his address, President Tassos Papadopoulos said: “If we all owe something to Makarios, if we all owe a lot to Cyprus, then this is to continue fighting for our country, to rally together and draw strength to continue until we are vindicated. If the flag bearer died 30 years ago, the flag he carried for a better future in Cyprus shall not be lowered nor will it be folded away.”
During his visit Papoulias also met two of the other presidential candidates, AKEL’s Demetris Christofias and DISY’s Ioannis Kasoulides.