?usic festival in divided Nicosia to send messages of unity in Cyprus

A bi-communal music event will take place in the divided capital of Cyprus, Nicosia, on Tuesday, to bring young Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots closer together and send messages of peace.

The festival takes place on the eve of the Conference on Cyprus, scheduled for Wednesday in Crans Montana, Switizerlanf, under UN auspices and with the participation of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and representatives of the Republic’s three guarantor powers, Greece, Turkey and the UK.

Six bands from all over Cyprus will participate in the event, called Unity Fest, and will make a musical journey from gipsy jazz all the way to hard rock.

Speaking in at a press conference for the Unity Fest, Alexandra Attalides, Press Attache of the European Parliament Information Office in Cyprus, gave information about the programme of the Festival, noting that the well-known jazz band Gadjo Dilo and singer Fikri Karayel will participate. In addition, the band Katakathia from Limassol, Limestones from Nicosia, Stonus from Nicosia, Swinging Souls from Paphos, Bunfyah from Famagusta and George Sidiropoulos from Nicosia will also participate in the festival.

Attalides said the event is open to the public and there will be free transportation from all cities.

Takis Hadjidemetriou, Bi-Communal Peace Initiative United Cyprus, said the initiative considers culture as the strongest foundation of mutual respect and a prerequisite for a common course for all Cypriots.

Sener Elcil, also from the Bi-Communal Peace Initiative United Cyprus, said the Cyprus problem is our main agony. I am very sure that the young people on both sides of the island are in favour of a solution because they know that peace is the future of Cyprus and they are fighting for their future, he added.

Andreas Kettis, Head of the European Parliament Information Office in Cyprus, said the Festival coincides with the upcoming Cyprus Conference in Switzerland. Hence, we expect that the youth of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins will send a resounding and encouraging message to their leaders to do their utmost and ensure a common peaceful future for the generations to come, he said.

George Markopouliotis, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus, said the European Commission is sending a signal for Cyprus. President Juncker was here in Cyprus two years ago and he gave his signal. He said it is about time that the word unity exists also in the Cypriot vocabulary and we should try make the example of Europe, which for 60 years is enjoying the tangible benefits of unity. I think it is about time to start letting our Cypriot friends in both communities enjoy those benefits of unity, he pointed out.

The Unity Fest is co-organized by the Bi-Communal Peace Initiative United Cyprus, the European Parliament Information Office and the European Commission Representation in Cyprus and is supported by The Home for Cooperation, the Famagusta Youth Center (MAGEM), the Swedish Embassy, the Embassy of the United States, the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Cyprus Turkish Teacher’s Union (KTOS) and the Cyprus Turkish Secondary Teacher’s Union (KTOEOS).

Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. UN-facilitated peace talks are currently underway and the focus of the negotiations is now on the Conference in Switzerland.

Source: Cyprus News Agency