He called it “a year of stability and development” and a year during which, through cooperation and joint efforts, “we were able to lay down even more stable foundations for the creation of the Cyprus we all wish for”.
This was a modern country corresponding to the people’s aspirations and representing a model for the region and a model for the peaceful coexistence on the European continent, he added.
“Being fully aware of the realities, problems and challenges we shall have to face, I have no doubt that each and every one of us reasonably feel that hope is rising in our country,” Anastasiades said.
In 2017 he added, Cyprus managed through collective effort and the cooperation of the Cypriot people, to overcome to a great extent the consequences of the unprecedented financial crisis it was called upon to face, and, at the same time, lay down the foundations for a stable and sustainable development based on real facts that “has started to reflect itself in everyday life and in the quality of life of the citizens”.
Outstanding challenges included the improvement of the public sector and the reform of local government, Anastasiades said.
He said 2018 would be a milestone for the island’s energy plans.
“Right now a new drilling is under way, while, in the immediate future, the realisation of our plans will allow us to proceed to a full exploitation of our energy resources,” he said.
On the Cyprus issue, he said the negotiations in 2017 had come closer than ever before to a solution and that for the first time, Turkey was held to account in discussions in the presence of the European Union on matters of security, guaranties and the withdrawal of Turkish troops.
“Unfortunately, the Turkish stance in the final stage of the effort did not allow the realisation of our expectations,” he said, referring to the collapse of the negotiations in Crans-Montana last July.
“Despite the disappointment caused yet again due to Turkey’s intransigence, our unnegotiable aim remains a solution which actually reunites our country transforming it into a modern, European and absolutely independent state corresponding to the expectations of its citizens,” Anastasiades said.
With a plug for his re-election campaign, Anastasiades added: “What we need more than anything is to continue with the realisation of the plans which have led to tangible results.”
“In order to achieve our goals and face the challenges ahead, it is more than ever necessary to have cooperation and consent, with absolute respect to any different approaches and views. Acknowledging the sincere interest of all political forces in the good of our country, I am optimistic that after the presidential elections a productive period shall follow for the benefit of our people as a whole.”
Source: Cyprus Mail