Alecos Michaelides Highlights Developments
WASHINGTON, DC-- On July 12, 2002, former Foreign Minister of Cyprus, Alecos Michaelides, appeared as guest speaker at the American Hellenic Institute's (AHI) Noon Forum, held at Hellenic House. Mr. Michaelides discussed the current Cyprus situation, focusing specifically on the country's expected accession to the European Union (EU) and the status and implications of UN-sponsored direct talks currently underway between President of Cyprus Mr. Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
During his discussion, Mr. Michaelides pointed to the importance of focusing on the future in both the EU accession talks and in searching for a resolution of the long-standing division and occupation of Cyprus.
Mr. Michaelides also highlighted the current plight of the Turkish Cypriot population and its diminishing numbers on the island as a result of the conditions imposed by the occupation forces. Since 1974, over 55,000 Turkish Cypriots have emigrated abroad and over 100,000 settlers have been illegally transferred from Turkey to Cyprus (see Cyprus Embassy website at www.cyprusembassy.net).
Pointing to the future and the best interests of all countries in the region, Mr. Michaelides noted that, "Turkey must be advised and be helped… to move forward into a peaceful, productive and effective country where the people will move more progressively. If there is tolerance in what Turkey is doing with provocations or special handling, then we are creating problems that in effect are progressively damaging Turkey, too."
Concluding his remarks, Mr. Michaelides commented that, "The best thing to come to the end of this [negotiations] process, we must be negotiating, we must be showing interest that we care for a solution. That is our dream. It is our passion. We hope that whoever comes to power now [in Turkey]… they must be thinking positively for the future, for the benefit of everybody in the region."
For additional information about the AHI's Noon Forum featuring former Foreign Minister of Cyprus, Alecos Michaelides, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information regarding the activities of AHI, please view our website at http://www.ahiworld.org.
Alecos Michaelides Highlights Developments In Cyprus At AHI Noon Forum