|Monday, 23 October 2017|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-11-18
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 PRESIDENT CHRISTOFIAS - NEGOTIATIONSPresident of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias expressed the hope here Tuesday that Turkey has decided now is the time to solve the Cyprus issue, otherwise it will not be resolved.
In statements before departing to Moscow for an official visit at the invitation of President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, President Christofias called on Turkey to understand that a viable, functional and fair solution is to its interest.
Commenting on statements made by UN envoy Alexander Downer to a Turkish TV station where he expressed optimism that the Cyprus problem will be solved by June next year, President Christofias said that the UN express optisim as the talks are taking place under their initiative. If they express pessimism, then I believe they would be conveying the message that we should not proceed, he said.
President Christofias expressed reserved optimism, remarking that if we achieve a solution before the summer that would be to the interest of the people of Cyprus, adding that from then on, things are not simple, they are complex and difficult and we will either overcome or try to overcome the many obstacles.
I wish and hope Turkey has decided that the time has come to solve the Cyprus issue, otherwise, it will not be resolved, said President Christofias. I call on Turkey to realize that a fair, viable and functional solution is to her interest; a solution that will rid the people of Cyprus from occupation, that is a key issue, from settlement and will restore the human rights of the people of Cyprus. He also said that these principles have been guiding us throughout the talks.
 HOUSE PRESIDENT - HOLY SITESPresident of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian appealed for intensified efforts to halt the destruction, illegal exploitation and criminal neglect of the holy sites in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus. Garoyian made the statement during a speech on Monday at the International Meeting for Peace The Civilisation of Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue, organized here by the Church of Cyprus in cooperation with the Saint Egidio Community. We demand respect for Christian monuments and churches for the religious rights of the few people who remain in the occupied areas, just as we respect Moslem monuments and mosques, Garoyian said in his intervention.
In his remarks, Garoyian said the victims of the blatant violation of human rights in Cyprus are not only the refugees, the missing persons and the enclaved but also the religious and cultural heritage of the island. He said centuries of history, language, worship and religious expression have turned to dust both by the occupying force and by illegal antiquity dealers. He said that the occupying forces policy has and remains to be the wiping out of every Christian element that signifies the heritage of Apostles Petros and Pavlos in the areas occupied by Turkey since 1974.
Referring to the Cyprus issue, Garoyian said Cyprus is a completely democratic country, member of the UN, the Council of Europe and of the European Union which from the very first years of its existence, was forced to use the shields of international law, international legal order and respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, to secure its existence. He pointed out that the example of Cyprus, a peace loving country, which even in 2008 is struggling to maintain its sovereignty and territorial integrity against the invader and to struggle for the fate of its people due to the indifference and impunity of Turkey by the international community, is surely a disgrace to all civilized cultures in the world. Garoyian said that Cypriots would like to celebrate the international anniversary of the declaration of human rights; however, such thing is not feasible due to the continued violation of human rights in Cyprus by Turkey since 1974.
 MALTESE PRESIDENT - CYPRUS PROBLEMThe division of Cyprus is unacceptable, Maltese President Edward Fenech-Adami said today, noting that pressures on Turkey would assist the efforts for a Cyprus solution. Adami, who is currently in Cyprus to participate in the International Meeting for Peace The Civilisation of Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue, organised by the Church of Cyprus in cooperation with the Saint Egidio Community, met on Tuesday with the primate of the Cypriot Church Archbishop Chrysostomos II. ``To me it is unacceptable that after so many years Cyprus is still divided and I do hope that we get more involved, particularly the EU in trying to find an equitable solution in the interest of all the people of Cyprus``, Adami said in statements after the meeting.
Asked about the extent of the EU involvement in the efforts for a Cyprus solution, Adami said that EU ``should be involved to the full.`` ``It should be made clear that the EU is very much interested that the Cyprus situation is resolved positively and it can only be resolved if there is one Cyprus uniting the whole people of Cyprus.`` The Maltese President pointed out that there are many ways, which one can use pressure to bring this about. ``We know of course that Turkey is eager to join the EU and I am quite sure that pressure on the Turkish government will help in the negotiations that are talking place,`` he added.
Chrysostomos described Adami as ``a dear friend`` and added he and the Maltese President exchanged views on the role of the Church in Cyprus, and on the social welfare systems in the two countries. Replying to a comment, Chrysostomos II said that he briefed Adami on the views of the Church on the Cyprus problem in detail. Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in talks since early September, with a view to finding a negotiated settlement that will reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
 CHURCH LEADERS - CYPRUS SETTLEMENTChurch leaders participating in the International Meeting for Peace The Civilisation of Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue, organized here by the Church of Cyprus in cooperation with the Saint Egidio Community, pledged to pray for a successful conclusion of the negotiations for an overall settlement to the Cyprus issue. The statement was made by Antonios Naguib, Coptic Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria, speaking through an interpreter at Mondays session of the meeting who said we cannot but promise to pray for a good ending to the negotiations.
Naguib was responding to a speech by Democratic Rally deputy Eleni Theoharous who in her speech in the framework of a panel discussion on religions, conflicts and the challenge of co-existence, said Cyprus has been forgotten and the international public opinion does not remember it. She referred to the situation on the island, noting that the Turkish occupation forces are responsible for the division of the island and wondered how Turkey, which violates human rights, insists on its European course. In his remarks, Italian Crescenzio Sepe, Archbishop of Naples, also speaking through an interpreter, said that the religions, which have gathered in Nicosia with the people of culture and politics exhibit the willingness not to submit to fatalism.
Greeces Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kasimis told the panel that the time has come for Europe. He said in this new cultural reality, Europe has an obligation to actively participate, adding that the EU has started functioning as a unified organization. Crisis such as that of Lebanon and the Caucasus were very important for the Union because for the first time there was direct European initiative, which was not interrupted by intervention, he noted. The same, he added, is evident in the economic crisis, whereby Europe has appeared united and effective from the first moment. Moscow Patriarchate representative, Bishop Valentin said that without love, nothing can be achieved.
The International meeting, which is attended by religious leaders, heads of state and representatives of different cultures and faiths, as well as intellectuals, secular scholars and journalists, wraps up on Tuesday. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the islands territory. President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat meet weekly in the framework of direct negotiations held since early September under UN auspices.
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