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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-05-06

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The church of Cyprus and the church of Greece stressed here Sunday their determination to maintain the strong bonds and the brotherly relationship between them with a view to further their cooperation in all fields, religious, social, pastoral and national.

    A statement, issued by the church of Cyprus at the conclusion of a week-long official visit by the head of the Greek church Archbishop Christodoulos, also said that the church will assist, at international fora, initiatives by the governments in Cyprus and Greece aimed at a political settlement, saying this is imperative to help restore international law and order on the island, divided since Turkish troops invaded in 1974.

    This will be achieved through the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops, the return of refugees to their ancestral homes, the solution of the humanitarian issue of missing persons, the respect of human rights and the safeguard of the pillage cultural heritage in Turkish occupied Cyprus, the statement added.

    It notes the need to strengthen the national conscience of the Greeks and their cultural identify, pointing out that bilateral contact between the churches should be more systematic, in addition to joint action to support the Greek language and history.

    The statement also said that cooperation must extend to issues relating to bioethics, the environment, human rights, immigration, youth, family, drugs, AIDS, womens issues and other modern day concerns.

    Promoting Christian values and the Orthodox faith and truth as well as providing a social service is among the priorities and the duties of the leadership and their clergy, the statement said.

    The two archbishops believe, the statement concludes, that Greek Hellenism continues to adhere to his spiritual and national origins and values and believes strongly in a just and viable solution in Cyprus that will truly reunite the country in a free, single, independent and democratic nation.


    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said here Sunday that any unrest in Turkey certainly causes concern in Nicosia and expressed hope that Ankara will change its policy.

    Anything that causes unrest in Turkey certainly causes concern to us. However we hope and anticipate that Turkeys policy will change, Papadopoulos added.

    Commenting on the withdrawal of Abdullah Guls candidacy for the presidency in Turkey, he said this was predetermined to allow for early elections.

    Asked if the political crisis was actually staged, he replied I would not comment on Turkeys internal affairs.

    On naval manoeuvres by the Turkish armed forces, in the open seas southwest of Cyprus, the President noted that the exercises are conducted outside Cyprus territorial waters.

    I do not see that they raise any specific issue, he added.

    Responding to other questions, he said that as far as he was aware there were no violations during the exercises.


    Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs George Lillikas departs on May 7 for Saudi Arabia, to participate in the 17th Joint Council and the Ministerial Meeting between the EE and the Cooperation Council of the Arab Gulf states, to take place in Riyadh on May 8.

    According to an official press release, the meeting will discuss the further strengthening of cooperation between the EU and the Arab Gulf states, and the situation in the area.

    Lillikas will speak about developments in the Middle East, expressing EU positions, and will refer to the prospects of solving regional problems, as well as ways to strengthen cooperation in the area.

    On the sidelines of the meeting, Lillikas will have contacts with counterparts participating in the Cooperation Council of Arab Gulf states.

    The Joint Council was set up in the framework of the 1989 Cooperation Agreement between the EU and the Cooperation Council.

    Lillikas returns home on May 9.

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