When George Vassiliou was elected President in 1988, it was a surprise to many people in the international community, both within Cyprus and abroad. Not affiliated to any political party, despite his family's role in the creation and development of AKEL, Cyprus's left-wing movement, Vassiliou was in many ways an outsider. But this position outside party politics proved to be an advantage, giving him a unique perspective on the international situation and allowing him to focus on his ultimate goal: a solution to the Cyprus issue. Vassiliou's period of office was pivotal in transforming attitudes in the divided island of Cyprus and in paving the way for the Republic's accession to the European Union in 2004. What were Vassiliou's political and personal motivations for these policies? What was the legacy of his period in office? And what lessons should we learn from this period in order to move towards reconciliation between the two communities of this divided island?From the President's Office offers a full and comprehensive summary of the achievements of Vassiliou's time in office - especially raising awareness of the Cyprus issue among the international community - alongside a frank critique of their limitations. It explores the strategy and initiatives developed during Vassiliou's presidency, to break the deadlock and promote the reunification of Cyprus, within their historical context, and focuses especially on attempts to re-unite the island as well as negotiations for accession to the EU, with which Vassiliou was profoundly and passionately involved. From the President's Office is a personal and unique account of a crucial period in Cyprus's recent history by one of the leading players in Cypriot politics. It will be an invaluable resource for students of International Relations and Conflict Resolution as well as anyone wishing to understand the politics of Cyprus today.
From the President's Office
A Journey Towards Reconciliation in a Divided Cyprus