The de-facto partition of Cyprus in the mid-1970s followed hostility between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
New Delhi: Ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to New Delhi on Sunday, India has sent a strong signal that it will not abandon its friends like Cyprus. While Turkey is a close friend of Pakistan, Cyprus and Turkey have a history of animosity after Turkey invaded the island nation in 1974.
“India has always stood by Cyprus on all crucial issues. In 1974, India took a firm stand in support of the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in the Capital on Thursday, in the presence of visiting Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. “I know that India has enjoyed a special place in the heart of every Cypriot President. Almost all of them have visited India. So, it is indeed an honour for me to welcome such a great friend and strong supporter of India,” the PM said.
Meanwhile, in a veiled attack on Pakistan in the presence of the Cypriot President, PM Modi said the two countries “agreed that there is an urgent need for all countries to decisively act against those states that generate, support, shelter and sustain these factories of violence in our regions”.
The de-facto partition of Cyprus in the mid-1970s followed hostility between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The regime of the Turkish Cypriots, which controls one-third of the territory of Cyprus, is not recognised by almost all countries in the world, including India but Turkey recognises Turkish Cyprus. Pakistan had then supported Turkey.
Meanwhile on Friday, four pacts were inked between the two countries in the fields of cultural education and scientific cooperation, agriculture, merchant shipping and air services.
“Cyprus and India share rich legacies of ancient civilisations and our civilisations have influenced each other through millennia. In modern times, our relationship goes back to the pre-independence era, when our founding fathers supported the freedom struggle of Cyprus. And, Cyprus too has always reciprocated with its warmth and friendship. India has always stood by Cyprus on all crucial issues. In 1974, India took a firm stand in support of the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus. India has contributed personnel to the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus. Three force commanders from India served in this capacity, and it is heartening for me to know that all of them are fondly remembered in Cyprus,” PM Modi said.
“I am aware of your initiative for resolving the Cyprus issue. You have led from the front in trying to bring a new era of peace, development and security. Not just for Cyprus, but for the whole region. We wish you every success in your efforts,” he added.
“Given its location, Cyprus appreciates the threat that terrorism poses to the global peace and stability. The President and I discussed the need for creating a comprehensive global legal framework,” PM Modi also said.