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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-03-23

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has said the division walls will come down easier with a solution to the Cyprus issue, noting a lot of hard work and effort is required as well as boldness to face the division in the peoples souls.

    The President made the remark during a meeting at the Presidential Palace with a group of students and professors from the Athens University Faculty of Philosophy and the University of Palermo.

    President Christofias told the students he is shocked every time he sees the flag of the illegal regime that is painted across the Pentadaktylos mountain in the Turkish occupied north of the island.

    We look forward to the moment when this atrocity, through a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus issue, will vanish from Pentadaktylos, said President Christofias, noting that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat did not like what he had said.

    I insist that this cannot express Turkish Cypriots. What should express them is their common homeland, traditions and symbols, he added.

    President Christofias said he looks forward to a solution that will surely include Turkish Cypriots in an equal manner, in the state administration and in exercising authority. We bear in mind the population proportion and democratic principles that exist on the island and these are 80-20.

    ĢI am fighting during the talks, for nearly two years now, so that the principle of 80-20 is taken into consideration because there is political equality in the framework of the federation, as defined in the UN resolutions, with the proposal of the then UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali, which provided that one community should not impose its will over the other, through the participation of various state institutions, he said.

    President Christofias referred to the declaration of the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied north in 1983, noting that Turkish Cypriots are now addicted in the handling of state institutions which although illegal, they exist and this creates the preconditions that if they continue, we will have a division with two separate states. And this is the line followed by Dervis Eroglu, he added.

    Unfortunately, said President Christofias, I cannot say that the current situation is easy.

    President Christofias said the independence which Cyprus gained from British colonial rule in 1960 was not real because the British secured sovereign bases.

    He also referred to the occupation troops, the illegal settlement in the north, the change in the demographic structure in the occupied areas as well as issues concerning security and guarantees and the destruction of cultural heritage.

    The Republic of Cyprus is fighting to restore monuments of cultural and religious heritage and to abolish guarantees since a modern state, member of the EU, should not have guarantors, he said.

    Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots want to live together, like in the past, united and in peace, in their common homeland, and to build a prosperous Cyprus which will become the jewel in the south-eastern Mediterranean, President Christofias added.

    The dividing walls, he added, can come down easier with a solution. A lot of work, effort and boldness is required to face the division in the peoples hearts.

    Noting there is a lack of trust, President Christofias said Turkish Cypriots fear the Greek Cypriots while the Greek Cypriots fear Turks. We must find the common language and set up a common action programme to face this division. It will be very hard, he concluded.


    House President Marios Garoyian has said that the Greek Cypriot side remains attached to international law and European Union principles and values in the framework of his efforts to reach a settlement of the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974. Speaking during a ceremony organized by Morphou municipality and organizations to mark the Greek Independence day anniversary (25 March 1821) and the start of the uprising against the British colonial rule on April 1, 1955, Garoyian stressed that a Cyprus settlement must be just, functional and viable on the basis of UN resolutions and decisions, the high level agreements between Makarios and Denktash and Kyprianou-Denktash, the international law principles and the principles on which the EU is funded.

    Our stable goal is a settlement that will lift the repercussions of the invasion and the occupation, will reunite the state, the people and the institutions and will establish conditions of harmonic and peaceful coexistence of all the legal inhabitants of the country, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latines, under conditions of security, progress and cooperation, he added. A joint and peaceful homeland that will provide prosperity and justice to all people who will live with their rights and freedoms being safeguarded.

    He added that our stable goal is a settlement that will provide for the withdrawal of occupation troops and settlers and will safeguard the right of the displaced persons to return to their ancestral homes and properties.


    The Museum of Kykkos Monastery has presented new evidence of destruction, desecration and plundering of religious monuments in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus. Dr. Charalambos Hodjakoglou, head of the Museum`s programme to record evidence concerning churches and other religious monuments in the Turkish occupied areas, referred to specific incidents of desecration, as well as the violation of the freedom of religion by the Turkish occupation regime. He noted that the Roman Catholic gothic church of Saint Francis has been turned into a pub and pizza parlour, and that the church of the Johannine knights has been transformed into a night club.

    Furthermore, the church of Panayia Trapeza in the village of Acheritou has been desecrated, with illegal excavations of probable medieval tombs. In the case of Saint Efimianos in the village of Lysi, plunderers partially demolished a wall and excavated the floor, having earlier removed the church`s murals. Hodjakoglou also referred to a ``dramatic case, in which we also bear responsibility,`` namely the church of Panayia of Trachonas in the Turkish occupied part of Nicosia, which has been turned into a dance school. He pointed out that recently road works began in the area, very close to the church, causing the building to become unstable. A breast wall had to be built to prevent the church from collapsing.

    Hodjakoglou noted that the road works were carried out with EU funding and explained that any such works had to be submitted to the Republic of Cyprus for approval. ``Today, the whole surrounding area has become a roundabout, the whole area around the church is being used as a road, and all this has been done with funds from the EU, of which we are a member state, and we have not objected,`` he added. Replying to questions, Hodjakoglou said that ``if objections had been raised, the money would not have been given,`` and also pointed out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had shown a great interest in the matter, since it had been informed about the case.

    Furthermore, a number of graves in the Kyrenia cemetery had been dug up and the area is now being used by the Anglican Church, which in the government-controlled areas enjoys full freedom and provisions by the Orthodox Church of Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus.


    Two more persons have been arrested and remanded in custody for six days in connection with the theft of the body of the late President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos as well as about an attempt to murder two brothers. In statements to the press, police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said that during police investigations evidence were collected and will be scientifically examined by the investigating authorities.

    Papadopoulos body, stolen from his grave last December, was found on March 8 after a tip off. Papadopoulos body was removed from the grave on 11 December 2009 from the cemetery of Deftera community, on the eve of the first annual memorial service for his death,

    Three more persons have already been arrested for this case.

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