President of the House of Representatives Annita Demetriou stressed on Friday that it is unacceptable that in 2023 there are still divided countries. Demetriou, who received in Nicosia a delegation of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO).
The President of the Parliament told the delegates that participate in the deliberations of the IAO in Cyprus that we need to preserve more than ever the principles and values of the Assembly because, as she said, what we take for granted can change.
As regards the Cyprus issue, she welcomed the fact that delegates have visited the island to see up close a semi-occupied country with barbed wire fences, occupying armies where citizens cannot fully enjoy their human rights and deal daily with Turkey’s illegal actions that violate international law and every principle of legality, whether on the ground or in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.
She stressed that Cyprus’ aim is none other than its liberation and reunification and the creation of conditions of peace, security and prosperity for all the citizens of Cyprus.
This, she added, is the message they convey in all fora, stressing that double standards should not be applied. “It is unacceptable that in 2023 there are still divided homelands,” she said.
General Secretary of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy Maximos Charakopoulos, noted that Cyprus is a founding member of the IAO and has worked with the Assembly since its establishment three decades ago to achieve the important goals of the Assembly, namely the unity of the Orthodox world, the protection of Christian monument and Christian populations.
Referring to the Turkish invasion and occupation, he said that the Assembly has repeatedly denounced the continued presence of Turkish troops and the perpetuation of “this unacceptable situation in Cyprus.”
Unfortunately, he said, Ankara’s attitude does not help to create optimism as it prevents with its policy the achievement of a solution that will benefit the citizens and will be based on UN resolutions and the European acquis.
In addition, he said that the Assembly highlights the issue of the protection of Christian monuments that are subject to desecration, destruction and change of use, and referred in particular to Hagia Sophia in Turkey.
MP Panikos Leonidou, head of the Cypriot delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, said that for 30 years now Cyprus has been contributing to the development of religious diplomacy, the promotion of common goals and principles and by highlighting the political problem of Cyprus.
He added that in the past few days they have had the opportunity to inform delegates from the various countries both about the Cyprus issue and about Turkey’s actions, as well as about the desecration of Christian monuments in the Turkish occupied territories.
Concluding, he said that representatives from 14 Parliaments from three continents, are participating in the deliberations of the IAO, coming from Greece, Egypt, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Jordan, Belarus, Lebanon, Hungary, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Sudan and Cyprus.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
Source: Cyprus News Agency