NEW YORK – Archbishop Demetrios of America in an exclusive interview with TNH called his official visit to Cyprus one of “love, respect and honor for the great heroic island and its suffering people.”
The archbishop was officially invited by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades during the latter’s recent visit to New York for the U.N. Conference. It is Demetrios’ to Cyprus, of which a huge part continues to be under Turkish occupation. The archbishop visited Cyprus under the presidencies of the late Tassos Papadopoulos and Demetris Christofias.
The message that Demetrios will bring to Cyprus “is clear,” and “as a Greek-American Community, as an Orthodox Church we are with the Cypriot people. We share and sympathize with their pain, agonies and hopes and we are fighting with the means we have towards the solution of the Cyprus issue,” he said.
“I can’t foresee” what the message he would bring back would be, “but I am sure I will be back even more determined to fight for the unification of Cyprus.”
Regarding the recent provocations by the Turks, the archbishop said those “have never stopped, they appear to be a way of life. It is exactly for this reason that we should always be ready for the continuous increase of our efforts to help Cyprus based on the principles of justice, truth, and the right for life and freedom of all the people.”
Demetrios said that in his visits to Cyprus, he has “always departed with a strong sense of responsibility to be supportive in any possible way. It has been a 15-year continuously-strengthening relationship with Cyprus and its people, especially with the onset of the economic crisis there.” He spoke about many opportunities there, such as “the special annual seminar of the Greek School teachers in Cyprus, has been operating with much success for a number of years now.”
So, why is there still no Cyprus solution after 40 years? “It is clear that the issue is connected with politics and programs that emanate from the Turks,” Demetrios said. “Without getting into the area U.S. politics regarding Cyprus, I am of the opinion that America wants a solution of the Cyprus problem. A careful researcher knows very well that quite often, history reveals surprises and unexpected developments. We have experienced such surprises and developments in the 20th century. Furthermore, beyond the human plans for us, there is also God’s intervention into historic events and developments and we have experienced such intervention. We believe that God will grant the just and correct solution to the great dream of our heroic and beloved Cyprus.”