President Anastasiades and Maronite Patriarch of Antioch refer to the brotherly ties between Cyprus and Lebanon

President Nicos Anastasiades and the Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and Head of the Maronite Church Bechara Boutros al -Rahi referred to the brotherly ties between Cyprus and Lebanon during a meeting they had on Monday evening, during the President’s visit to the neighbouring country.

According to an announcement issued by the Cyprus Presidency, the Patriarch referred to the close ties of friendship between Cyprus and Lebanon, stressing that these ties are fraternal because of the large number of Maronites who have been residing on the island for centuries and have always wanted to be part of the Greek Cypriot community.

The Patriarch expressed his support for the efforts made by the President of the Republic to resolve the Cyprus issue, expressing hope that these efforts will bear fruit soon.

The President of the Republic said he is proud of the significant contribution of the Maronites to Cypriot society in general, stressing that many members of the Maronite religious group of about six thousand people are distinguished members of Cypriot society. He referred to the Energy Minister, who is a member of the Maronite community as well as members of the House of Representatives.

Referring to the Cyprus issue, President Anastasiades pledged once again his commitment to the efforts to find a viable and comprehensive solution , noting that the Maronite villages should remain under the Greek Cypriot administration in a future solution to the Cyprus problem and that Maronites are an integral part of Greek Cypriot community.

Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. UN-facilitated talks are underway with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

With the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, the Maronites had to choose to belong either to the Greek Cypriot or the Turkish Cypriot Community. The Maronites opted to join the Greek Cypriot Community.

Source: Cyprus News Agency