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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-12-30

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Archbishop Chrysostomos II, reported to the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and a UN representative, the interruption of the Christmas liturgies in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus by Turkish troops, stressing that the Greek Cypriot side will not tolerate a similar situation.

    The primate of the Greek Orthodox Church on the island also handed letters to the diplomats, explaining what had happened on December 25. As he stressed, the Christmas liturgy in the Turkish occupied villages of Rizokarpaso and Ayia Triada were interrupted by the Turkish troops, which also harassed the priest and the congregation, despite the permission that had been obtained in advance for the liturgy.

    In statements after the meeting, the Archbishop said ``we invited the representatives of the permanent members of the SC to report the monstrosity that took place on Christmas Day by Turks``.

    ``I made it clear to them that we will not tolerate such incident`` again, he added.

    The Archbishop revealed that he had intended to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, following an initiative by the US Ambassador. However ``I will not meet him if he does not allow the priests to conduct the services in the occupied areas unhindered and the Bishop of Karpasia to visit Karpasia and carry out liturgies, serving the Christian enclaved in the area, he said.

    He said it was the inalienable right of the Bishop and if the Turks want to have a European course, then they should act in a European manner, respect human rights and religious beliefs``.

    The Archbishop underlined that everything in the occupied areas are directed by Ankara, ``it is not the Turkish Cypriots who are prohibiting the liturgies and violate our human rights but it is Ankara. Ankara should at last be unveiled that it maintains these beliefs; it does not want anything Christian or Greek in the occupied areas``.

    Referring to his meeting with Eroglu, the Archbishop said it was already scheduled but postponed due to the Turkish Cypriot leader`s health. ``However I do not think I should tolerate such mockery, especially when he does not allow liturgies to take place, the Christmas Liturgy. How can I meet him? For what reason? I will not meet him if the promises we have been given are not fulfilled.

    In his statements after the meeting, Russian Ambassador Vlacheslav Shumski said the permanent members of the Security Council were invited by his beatitude where they discussed in detail what happened a couple of days ago in the north of the island, ``the unfortunate situation with the celebration of Christmas``.

    ``We expressed our gratitude for the detailed information and I personally, as a representative of the Russian government, think that this is a most unfortunate and unacceptable situation because it is directed against basic human rights and religious feelings``, he said.

    What happened at Christmas, he added, is against the policy of taking confidence-building measures in the process of trying to find a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    I am quite sure that being a Christian or Moslem, you have an inalienable right to worship, he added.

    Answering a question, the Ambassador said he had already reported the incident to his government.


    The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) ``strongly condemns the interruption and cancellation of Christmas Day services at Agios Synesios Church at Rizokarpaso by police officers of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime.``

    In a statement, AHI notes that ``for 36 years, the people of Cyprus have endured an illegal occupation and massive violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by Turkey, an ally of the United States.``

    ``Turkey is a signatory to a host of international treaties intended to safeguard religious freedom. This blatant violation of religious freedom on Christmas Day by the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime reaffirms Turkeys disregard of those treaties. Furthermore, this deplorable act is one of many reasons why for the past two years Turkey has been placed, and will remain, on the US Commission on International Freedoms Watch List, and greatly contradicts the US Department of State Report on International Religious Freedom issued November 17, 2010,`` it notes.

    AHI adds that ``sadly, the suppression of religious freedom further affirms what we already know has occurred in occupied Cyprus, which is the wanton destruction of Cyprus cultural and religious heritage as documented by the Law Library of Congress and the US Helsinki Commission.``


    The top aides to the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus were scheduled to hold a meeting on Thursday in the framework of the ongoing UN-led negotiations for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    According to reliable sources, at their last meeting on Tuesday George Iacovou and Kudret Ozersay, advisors to Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu respectively, discussed about the chapters of governance and power sharing and exchanged views on the chapter of economy.


    The government will fight tooth and nail to achieve the European Road Safety Charter goals, said here today Minister of Communications and Works Erato Kozakou Markoullis.

    Markoullis and fellow Minister of Justice and Public Order Loucas Louca were attending a lunch given in honour of the sixty public and non- governmental organizations, signatories to the European Road Safety Charter which are working to attain its goals in Cyprus.

    The culmination of their efforts for 2010 is an island wide campaign entitled There are no excuses during these holidays, with multiple events being organized between December 22nd and January 7th.

    The Road Safety Council and all participants will be ruthless, said Markoullis, adding that we should not have to mourn road fatalities and we will not forgive anyones behaviour which may lead to the death of others.

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