February 16, 2013 - 11:07 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, who is preparing to step down, says he leaves the office with his head held high, Famagusta-Gazette reports.
"All these years I faced problems and difficulties with my head held high and I will step down with my head held high because I did my utmost to achieve the best for Cyprus at extremely different times," Christofias said in a address to the Cypriot people on the occasion of the completion of his tenure as Cyprus President.
On the Cyprus problem, Christofias called on his successor to rely and work on the basis prescribed by the 1977 and 1979 High Level agreements and warned that he should not retract the convergences reached during talks with the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.
Christofias defended his government’s economic policy amid the global financial crisis, noting that Cyprus was forced to apply for financial assistance given the exposure of the Cypriot commercial banks to the Greek economy.
Assessing his term in office, President Christofias said: "I have gained a pleasant experience, but I also witnessed bitterness."
Christofias also said he feels great sorrow because he could not achieve the goal of his life, the solution of the Cyprus problem. "Despite the constant and creative initiatives we have undertaken, Turkey, continues its obstructive and intransigent stance in order to hinder the solution based on the UN relevant resolutions on Cyprus," he said.
Referring to the economy, the President said that "though heavily wounded by the global and European economic crisis Cyprus could have avoided the situation in which it currently stands."
"Regardless of the structural problems," he said, "Cyprus would not have had to resort to European Stability Mechanism if the Cypriot banks were not exposed to the Greek economy."
"Cyprus is a victim of the crisis in the banking system. This is acknowledged by everyone in Europe and internationally," he said.