As we gather with family and friends, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year. At this time of year, though, our minds also turn to those less fortunate than ourselves. It is often said that the mark of a society is how it treats those at the dawn and twilight of life. Whether it was meals for the elderly at community centres across the UK, or Santa shoebox presents for less fortunate children in Cyprus, I’m proud that our community supported its most vulnerable over the Christmas period.

2017 was a year of mixed emotions for the UK and Cyprus. Sadly, due to Turkey’s intransigence, the Crans Montana negotiations did not result in the much desired reunification of Cyprus. However, despite the disappointments, we remain hopeful that the new year will bring new opportunities to see our beautiful island of Cyprus finally reunited.

Each year brings a new chapter in the history of the UK, Cyprus and our diaspora – the exciting part is that we, collectively, can help write that new chapter. In the UK, as we prepare to address the international and domestic challenges & opportunities that 2018 will bring us, the Federation is ready and committed to continuing to represent and advance our community’s interests and views at the very highest levels.

As we write our new chapter, now, more than ever before, we must stay the course and honour the promises to our parents, grandparents, and children to deliver freedom for Cyprus. So, let’s make 2018 the year that we all renew our campaign and commitment for a free, united Cyprus. We can start by asking our elected representatives in the UK Parliament to recommit to the reunification and freedom of Cyprus. We need their support to: 1) end the occupation; 2) reunite Cyprus without any troops or guarantees and; 3) ensure that any solution respects international law and human rights by providing for the return of refugees and determining the fate of the missing.

Grassroots, people-led, movements have driven change across the world over the last few years, so let’s do the same for Cyprus. I urge you to have the courage to believe that you can make an impact by exercising your democratic right and engaging with your MP. If your MP is a supporter of Cyprus, engaging with them is a chance to thank them for the work they do. And if you haven’t heard from your MP on Cyprus, engaging with them is an opportunity to ask them to represent your views.

That’s why we’ve now made it easier than ever before to email your MP (see below for more details). Through the Federation’s new website www.cypriotfederation.org.uk/mp you can get in contact with your MP in less than 30 seconds and in 5 simple steps. It couldn’t be easier to make an impact, so please do it. Also, please share this message because our community’s collective, united, voice is our strength.

“Let’s make 2018 the year that we all renew our campaign for a free, united Cyprus. We can start right away by asking our MPs to represent our views on Cyprus in Parliament.”

Happy New Year!

Christos Karaolis
President, National Federation of Cypriots in the UK

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