If I am elected president, despite its size and relatively small population, Cyprus will…
- Continue to work with a range of international organisations to promote Cyprus’ interests and views abroad.
- Continue to protect human rights at home and abroad.
- Continue to respect and support international law.
- Help protect our planet and the environment from man-made climate change, starting with our own beautiful island.
- Play a positive role in maintaining international peace and security.
- Continue as a constructive partner with the European Union while defending Cyprus’ interests.
- Act as a hub for stability in the Middle East, North Africa, and the south eastern Mediterranean.
- Propose that an UN initiative be implemented, so that every nation in the world teaches every person on the planet 20-30 emergency phrases using a variation of sign language used by the deaf. This common standard can be used as a signal by a child or vulnerable person that feels threatened at home or abroad. And when Cyprus sends emergency help following an earthquake in Iran, Cypriot search and rescue workers will be able to urgently communicate basic phrases using sign language with their equivalents from Pakistan, and the local population. (Cyprus’ universities: I suggest you devise an implementation plan and proof of concept.)
- Never seek to become a full member of NATO, unless global events necessitate a reappraisal.
- Review whether to potentially join NATO’s Partnership for Peace Programme, subject to extensive public consultation.
If a solution to the Cyprus problem can be negotiated
Based on the results of a referendum, I would recommend…
- Totally demilitarising the island of Cyprus, while maintaining a small, well-equipped professional defence force.
- Potentially leasing part of Akrotiri to the UN and EU as a hub for peacekeeping and philanthropic use. Such an arrangement will clearly be subject to the UK agreeing. As part of Cyprus’ independence in 1960, the UK has the legal right to its military bases. But what if as part of a solution to the Cyprus problem, Britain moved its bases to Greece, or to an expanded Incirlik Air Base 330KM away in southern Turkey? I would argue there are military advantages to sharing facilities with a NATO partner compared to Cyprus which is more exposed. Furthermore, a by-product of such an arrangement between Turkey and the UK is that Britain’s refugee problem could potentially be reduced.
- Formally enshrining Cyprus’ neutrality within our constitution, however, due to our shared culture and Hellenism, permit Cypriots as private individuals to be trained by or take part in Greece’s military.