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Media Watch 2003

01 October 2003
Source: Politis
Comment: The following article appeared in Politis of Nicosia on 1 October 2003.
We must eliminate any remainings of the sinful past

“Greece supports Cyprus with all its forces in a substantial, continuous and constant way” stated the Greek Defence Minister, Yiannos Papantoniou at his arrival to Cyprus yesterday. Mr. Papantoniou realizes a three-day official visit to Cyprus and he will attend the military parade on the occasion of the anniversary of the Republic’s independence.

“The cooperation of the armed forces (of Greece and Cyprus) is substantial and effective”, noted the Greek Minister and added that these past years both sides had put great effort to realize the joint defence space “that acts as a deterrent and operates in an effective manner”.

Referring to the Cyprus issue, Mr. Papantoniou said that it underwent “an especially sensitive phase” and added that after Cyprus’ accession to the EU, which “constituted and constitutes a great national achievement that upgrades Cyprus’ position internationally”, the prospects for the settlement of the Cyprus issue “ought to be better”.

“That remains to be proven. It requires struggle, systematic and steady efforts until we arrive at the desirable outcome, that is a united Cyprus in a way that will eliminate any remainings of the sinful past”, noted the Greek Defence Minister. He added that in his contacts both with President Papadopoulos and the political world during his three-day official visit to Cyprus, he would try to read into the political climate and everybody’s thoughts regarding the next steps. He said that his presence in Cyprus and the contacts he was to have underlined the importance placed by Greece on the Joint Defence Pact, the support and solidarity to the Cypriot Hellenism in their struggle for a just, viable settlement of the Cyprus issue.

Welcoming the Greek Minister at the Larnaca Airport, the Cypriot Defence Minister, Kyriakos Mavronikolas expressed the gratitude on behalf of the Cypriot people to the Greece for their help all these years in all national issues. “The presence of Mr. Papantoniou is essential so that we establish a continuity in the greatest national issues”, Mr. Mavronikolas said and added that the help of the Greek government both within the EU and the international organizations for the settlement of the Cyprus issue, “have been reinforced by the current government and the Hellenism in general”.

“Greece has always been a supporter and according to the late Andreas Papandreou has always fought along with the Cypriot people in all its battles. Mr. Papantoniou’s presence suggests the continuity of these efforts until the conclusive vindication of the Cypriot people’s struggle”, concluded Mr. Mavronikolas."