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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 takes place from 16-18 November and is attended by religious leaders, heads of state and representatives of different cultures and faiths, as well as intellectuals, secular scholars and journalists.

    Sunday afternoon Cyprus President Demetris Christofias addressed the meeting, which is 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.

    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 official opening took place Sunday afternoon. Discussions will follow on Monday and Tuesday.

    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).

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