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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-11-16

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Church of Cyprus, in cooperation with the Saint Egidio Community, is hosting the International Meeting for Peace The Civilisation of Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue.

    The meeting that will take place from 16-18 November and it will be attended by religious leaders, heads of state and representatives of different cultures and faiths, as well as intellectuals, secular scholars and journalists.

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias will address the opening of the meeting, which will be attended by the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the President of Montenegro, the President of Malta, the President of Albania and the President of Bosnia Herzegovina.

    House President Marios Garoyian and Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou will also participate in the meeting.

    The Chairman of the Saint Egidio Community Marco Impagliazzo and professor Mario Marazziti have expressed hope that the inter-religious dialogue meeting would help open a dialogue between Cyprus and Turkey. They said they would like to contribute towards the restoration of pillaged Christian places of worship in Cyprus northern Turkish occupied areas.

    Speaking at a press conference, held in Rome, the organisers thanked the Church of Cyprus for hosting the 21st meeting and referred to Cyprus as an ``island of dialogue.``

    Impagliazzo and Marazziti furthermore noted that the election of Demetris Christofias to the presidency of the Republic, earlier this year, has brought ``new elements of dialogue`` and expressed hope that this would help start a dialogue between Cyprus and Turkey.

    Replying to questions, the organisers said Turkey was not participating in the meeting because it does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and that a representative of the Constantinople Patriarchate was absent due to obstacles raised by the Turkish authorities.

    Referring to the participation of the Turkish Cypriot community in the meeting, the organisers said efforts were being made in cooperation with the Cypriot authorities to make the necessary arrangements, but pointed out that the issue was delicate and efforts were being made not to send messages of recognition of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in the northern areas of Cyprus, which the UN describes as ``legally invalid``.

    The Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Church of Cyprus, Yiannos Harilaou, speaking during a press conference said the opening will take place on Sunday afternoon and thereafter there will be panel discussions. On Tuesday a prayer for peace will take place at the Archbishopric in Nicosia, followed by prayers at different locations according to religious tradition.

    Speaking during the press conference, Archbishop Chrysostomos II noted that heads of state and government and church leaders are invited to these meetings to play a positive role for world peace.

    Our effort is to send messages from this meeting all over the world for peace in Cyprus and the rest of the world, he said, stressing that peace in Cyprus must serve all the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and the other community groups on the island (Armenians, Latins and Maronites).


    The Greek Foreign Ministry has described as illegal and provocative the unilateral declaration of independence by the Turkish Cypriots, in November 1983, noting that it violates the fundamental rules and principles of international law. A statement, issued by the Ministry, reiterated that Greece supports with all its strength the strenuous efforts by President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias to restore law and order and to reunite Cyprus so that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can enjoy security and prosperity stemming from Cyprus participation in the European Union.

    The 15hth of November 1983 is a dark anniversary, not only for Cyprus and Greece, but for all those who believe in and respect international legitimacy, it is pointed out. The statement stressed that the Cyprus question remains an international issue of illegal foreign occupation of the territory of an independent member-state of the international community and the European Union.

    It also emphasises that this unacceptable situation must come to an end, adding that that is the aim of the ongoing negotiations taking place at this period». Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot Leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in direct talks, began in early September, with the objective to find a mutually agreed solution to the Cyprus problem to reunite the island, divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    The new Paphos International Airport will be fully operational at midnight on November 16 towards November 17, marking the end of flights to the old airport. Hermes Airports, which manages the airports in Cyprus, has announced that the new building covers 18,500 square metres and has the capacity to serve about 2.7 million passengers per year.

    It has 28 check in counters, three luggage conveyor belts, four security arches, a VIP lounge and specially equipped lounges for businesspeople, information systems for passengers and parking places with a capacity of 800 vehicles. It is estimated that around 1,800 persons will be employed.

    Minister of Communications and Works Nicos Nicolaides told CNA that the opening of the new Paphos Airport is a significant event for Cyprus` air transport, and that it will contribute to the effort to make Cyprus an important communications hub towards Europe and the neighbouring countries, due to its strategic position at the south-easternmost point of Europe.

    Hermes Airports spokesman Adamos Aspris said that the transfer of services, departments and systems from the old to the new airport is proceeding intensively. Paphos Mayor Savvas Vergas told CNA that it was very important for the town and the district of Paphos to have a modern international airport, noting that the Municipality expects the Government to support the vision for a modern town in general.

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