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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-08-23

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriots, living abroad, will gather here this week to discuss the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and be briefed on the issue by the islands political and religious leadership.

    The 16th Annual Conference of the Central Council of the World Federation for Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) and the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), and the Conference of the Executive Council of the World Organisation for Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK) will be held in Nicosia, from 24-28 August.

    President Demetris Christofias will address the opening ceremony on Monday evening.

    The opening ceremony will be addressed by the House President Marios Garoyan, the Archbishop of the Church of Cyprus Chrysostomos II, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou, the Presidents of POMAK, PSEKA, and NEPOMAK Haris Sophoclides, Philip Christopher and Christos Karaolis respectively, the President and the World Council of Hellenes (SAE) Stefanos Tamvakis, and the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kassimis.

    During the conference, representatives of several Ministries will brief delegates on issues that concern them. President of the Committee of Cyprus Occupied Municipalities, Mayor of the Turkish occupied city of Famagusta Alexis Galanos, President of AHEPA Nicholas Karacostas and the American Senator Robert Menendez will also deliver a speech during the conference. Participants will also be briefed on media and communications related issues by Eleonora Gavrielidou, Director of the Press and Information Office (PIO).

    On Friday, President Christofias and his spouse Elsi will host a reception at the Presidential Palace, in honour of the conference attendees.

    This years meeting takes place as President Christofias prepares to begin the second round of UN-led negotiations with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in early September. The government has said that some progress has been achieved at the talks, which began a year ago, but not sufficient. The objective of the talks is to find a negotiated settlement, acceptable to both communities, based on past agreements which provide for a bizonal bicommunal federation -UN resolutions and the acquis communautaire.


    The Church of Cyprus continues its efforts to recover stolen religious artifacts and to highlight the continuing looting of the islands cultural heritage in the northern Turkish-occupied part of the country. The 30th World Meeting of Rimini in Italy, which formally opens its gates from 23 to 29 August, entitled «The knowledge is always an event», provides a forum for the Church to bring into focus the need to have stolen cultural treasures - found and confiscated by the German police return to their legal owner, the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus.

    «We are hostages in Germany. We ask for your help and contribution to return as soon as possible to our homes in Cyprus», is the central motto, which the Church uses to promote its desperate cry for the return of its stolen treasures. Cypriot treasures, including church icons and frescoes, stolen by the Turkish art dealer Aydin Dikmen, continue to remain trapped in Germany, pending a decision by the authorities in Munich to release the 169 items whose Cypriot ownership has been proven before the court. Many other items are still the object of a lengthy legal battle in Germany.

    As part of its efforts to inform international public opinion about the looting of Cyprus cultural heritage, the Church of Cyprus in cooperation with the Byzantine Museum of the Foundation of Archbishop Makarios will present a photographic exhibition at the meeting in Rimini. The exhibition includes icons, frescoes, manuscripts and mosaics found when Interpol and the German Police stormed Dikmens apartment.


    Cyprus is sending help to Greece to help fight the fires that are raging out of control in eastern Attiki. One helicopter, which belongs to the Fire Services, has taken off for Greece, with its four-member crew.

    The helicopter was sent following a request by Athens. We are ready, if asked, to send help, to assist in the way we did in 2007 head of the Fire Services Andreas Nikolaou has said. On Sunday, 16 forest fire fighters and two forestry departments vehicles are also due to leave for Greece.

    The fires in Greece have burned scores of houses and thousands of acres of forest near Athens as flames raged out of control, fanned by strong winds, which make the job of the fire services very difficult. Greek officials have said the fire had reached the suburbs of Aghios Stefanos, Anthoussa, Pallini, Pikermi and Dionyssos.

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