Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades visited Greece for the last time as President and conveyed his gratitude for Athens’s constant support to his government.
Elections for a new president of Cyprus are held this weekend. Anastasiades, of the Democratic Rally, who won the presidential elections in 2013 and 2018, is ineligible to run due to the two-term limit.
“We have been called upon to face several threats from Turkey and, thanks to our diplomacy and good neighbourliness, we have shielded Cyprus and elevated it to a position of strength, one that is in line with European values,” Anastasiades said as he met Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
He then referred to the shared values of Hellenism between the two countries. “I will continue to be a Greek Cypriot who is anxious for both the fate of our Cyprus and our Greece.”
Mitsotakis referred to the multifaceted contribution made by the Anastasiades, to the progress of Cyprus, but also to the ongoing efforts to achieve a fair and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.
“You managed to not only fix the economy but also develop your country as a whole on many different levels and I think you have every reason to be proud of that,” he said.
“Unfortunately, there remain issues that you were unable and we were unable to resolve, most importantly the great national injury of the Cyprus problem. I know, however, that even as a former President of the Republic, once your term in office has been completed, your heart will always be on this, on how we will achieve a fair, functional and viable solution to the Cyprus problem,” Mitsotakis added.
Following the meeting with Mitsotakis, Anastasiades met Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who also praised him for his “tenacity and diplomatic skills”.
“Thanks to the excellent and close diplomatic efforts made by both countries, we have strengthened UN resolutions that are shielding Cyprus from several dangers,” she said.
Sakellaropoulou added that Cypriot Hellenism also survived over the years thanks to the support of Greece, “which stood by the people of Cyprus in critical times, stemming from the Turkish invasion in 1974 to our days”.
Anastasiades at the memorial park for the victims of the Mati fire in Greece
Anastasiades also laid the foundation stone for a memorial park for the victims of the Mati fire in the summer of 2018 where 103 people lost their lives and hundreds were left homeless.
The fire was the second-deadliest wildfire event in the 21st century, after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires in Australia that killed 173.
The Cyprus government donated a total of €10 million. In addition, individual donations collected in Cyprus over the past years, amounting to €1 million, were also donated to the Greek government during the visit.
Part of the funds donated by Cyprus will be used to build a total of ten residential buildings housing 14 apartments each.