|Tuesday, 20 February 2018|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-09-15
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 LEADERS BICOMMUNAL EVENTThe leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, have expressed their commitment to work hard to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem, that would reunify the island, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.
The two leaders attended Sunday evening a bicommunal event organised by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot youth organizations, on the occasion of the World Peace Day.
The event, which was organised under the auspices of the embassy of Slovakia, took place at the Ledra Palace Hotel, in the Nicosia UN-controlled buffer zone.
The event was attended by Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus, Taye - Brook Zerihoun, Ambassador of Slovakia Anna Tourenikova, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou, Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou, members of the Council of Ministers, political party leaders, Members of the House of Representatives, heads of diplomatic missions in Nicosia, Turkish Cypriot politicians and hundreds of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot youth.
Addressing the event, President Christofias said I want to reiterate my commitment, before the young people of both communities, that I am going to do my utmost in order to find the common language we need with Mehmet Ali Talat and with the assistance of the UN to reunify our island.
We need peace in this island and it is very nice to organise this cultural meeting which has of course a great political importance also because today we mark international day of peace, President Christofias continued.
He expressed hope that on this day next year we are going to organise such meetings all over a reunited Cyprus, adding I dont know if Mehmet Ali Talat will agree with me but my hope and my wish is to organise such meetings in a demilitarized United Federal Republic of Cyprus.
President Christofias noted that the promise to the young people should be to reunify the island.
We have started a serious dialogue and we have to combine our efforts in order to welcome the people of the UN without a uniform but as visitors to our peaceful island. This is our promise to the young people of Cyprus, President Christofias said.
Let us bring peace and social justice to this island, for the sake of people from both communities, who have suffered in the past, but especially for the young people of Cyprus, the President added.
In his address, the Turkish Cypriot leader said that many generations have suffered because of lack of peace and the lack of an agreement in Cyprus, and young generations look forward to a peaceful country, a reunified country, a federal country.
We, together with my friend Demetris, really have this common aim, we are committed to working to achieve it. I am sure that we will get every support from our people. This is very clear and particularly for the time being we sense this in our everyday contacts, in our everyday work and we are confident that we will get support from our people.
Talat added that a solution will of course prepare the basis for peace building, because peace building is a different issue. Peace building means Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots living together in a peaceful environment with respect to each other cultures and in full cooperation is of course the ultimate target of our effort.
And to reach that we will first prepare the ground together with my friend Demetris, by making a settlement, an agreement. It will be the beginning of our goal, the beginning of the peace building, he continued.
The Turkish Cypriot leader said that youngsters will have the great responsibility, particularly in this new phase which will follow the agreement because the young people will live the future. They have to work for that, they have to build peace on this island.
I am expecting bigger events all over the island. In each city, in each town in each village, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots really in cooperation really building the future, he added.
Talat said that for this we have to do our utmost now. We have to work seriously but I am 100% sure that if we get the support of our people we will be able to achieve it. Otherwise since we have a lot of difficulties and a lot of thorny issues in front of us it will be very difficult.
The Turkish Cypriot leader noted that a compromise is needed, which will be supported by the people as well.
We have to give and take. We have to give something and take something. We have to compromise. Without that, a solution is not possible and we know this. And for compromise we need the encouragement of our people and particularly we need the encouragement of young people.
Hopefully, he said, in the very near future we will have bigger events, particularly together after a solution. So we have to be in urgent work and we have to solve the problem as soon as possible. This is my appeal, my commitment and my promise to all of you, he concluded.
In his address, UNSGs Special Representative in Cyprus, Taye Brook Zerihoun, noted that bicommunal initiatives and cultural projects alone will not bring the ideal outcome regarding the reunification of Cyprus.
The leaders and the people carry the greatest responsibility for turning into success what is clearly a difficult process, he stressed.
Zerihoun added that rebuilding trust among Cypriots across the divide in order to make this island one common home for all its citizens requires acts that are less spectacular but we judge as essential
Addressing the event, the Slovak Ambassador, whose country hosts for years now bicommunal political meetings at Ledra Palace, said that peace is a precondition for every development and progress in a country.
Tonight we have the opportunity to say to each other, brother, sister let us live together in peace, she concluded.
The cultural part of the event included a performance by Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot rock bands. Moreover, poems of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot poets were recited and the bicommunal choir sang songs of peace.
 FM CYPRUS ISSUEForeign Minister Markos Kyprianou has said that the Greek Cypriot side has to show seriousness in the process of direct negotiations for a settlement of the Cyprus question and expressed hope that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will follow suit.
Kyprianou said that the Greek Cypriot side will speak at the negotiating table and will resist temptation to comment in public, by responding to Talats remarks.
Speaking before departure for Brussels to attend the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC), Kyprianou was asked to comment on public statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader, according to which Brussels view positively derogations regarding the acquis communautaire, in the context of a Cyprus solution. I dont think that Talat has the authority to speak on behalf of the EU. If there is any development, Brussels themselves will announce it, Kyprianou said, and added that I dont think that it is a good tactic to comment on whatever Talat says.
 FAMAGUSTA MAYOR EVENTSFamagusta Municipality is organising two anti-occupation events, 19 and 20 of September, to press on with the demand of the legitimate citizens of this Turkish occupied town to return to their homes and properties, which they were forced to abandon during the Turkish invasion of 1974.
In statements to CNA, Famagusta Mayor Alexis Galanos said that the events will highlight the importance of UN Security Council resolution 550 which considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha (fenced off area of Famagusta) by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN.
The UN holds the Turkish military responsible for the occupied town of Famagusta and has called for the return of the fenced area, abandoned since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, to its lawful inhabitants. Ankara has so far refused to comply with repeated UN calls to that effect.
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