I am very happy for this opportunity to address a distinguished gathering of journalists from various countries of the world.
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Background: I am very happy for this opportunity to address a distinguished gathering of journalists from various countries of the world. I believe it was a happy thought of the Greek Government to invite distinguished personalities from many countries to Greece where they would be acquainted with the birthplace of an ancient and noble civilization. The contact between persons from various countries is, furthermore, conductive to a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation between the peoples of the World, to the great benefit of humanity. It is not only the political leaders that have the power and the means to cultivate this spirit, but also the Press. In deed the Press forms and guides public opinion: consequently its responsibility on international problems is very great.
On this occasion I would like to refer to a particular problem, that of Cyprus, which has now assumed international importance. Your are all, no doubt, acquainted with the nature of this problem. The people of Cyprus demand self-determinations they claim the right to decide their own political future. In refusing tot he Cypriots this right the British Government invents and formulates different arguments which are often conflicting and which cannot stand up to examination.
I do not propose to take time by referring separately to the various arguments put forward by the British Government. I will only say that in realizing that the arguments put forward for the continuation of colonial status of Cyprus can no more hold, the British Government now invokes Turkey's opposition, as the main obstacle to Cypriot self-determination. In this way it seeks to make the solution of the Cyprus problem dependent upon the will of an outside party: Turkey.
It is an attempt to present the question of Cyprus as a Greco-turkish difference, which would allow Britain to assume the position of arbiter in a matter on which one is a real litigant. Hence the recent sounding for a Tripartite Conference. The Greek Government quite rightly made its full reservations to such a Conference.
In this respect I wish to emphasize that the question of Cyprus is not a Greco-Turkish difference, nor one between Greece, Britain and Turkey. Consequently any talks or a comments on the future of the island in the absence of the Cypriot people cannot be binding on them.
The British Government furthermore tries to present in the eyes of world public opinion our dedication to the cause of self-determination as intransigence. But this is the pith and marrow of our claim. I confidently believe that the attempt of the British Government to place the matter on a different and a colonial basis, and its pursuance of solutions which do not ensure the right of self-determination, is a policy as futile as it is wrong.
The problem of Cyprus has been unduly complicated and involved by British diplomacy. Yet it is simple in its nature and can well be solved on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations.
The Cyprus issue comes now for the fourth time before the General Assembly of the United Nations. We do not know what will be the decision of this International Organisation, but we do know the resolve of the Cypriot people is to regain their freedom.
Finally I would like to add that the denial of freedom to the people of Cyprus is incompatible with the endeavour to create conditions of peace and security in that troubled area of the Mediterranean, where dramatic developments are recently taking place.