TRNC News Today 11th September 2015

Akıncı and Anastasiades met with religious leaders

President Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades met with 5 religious leaders in Cyprus yesterday.

The meeting between the two leaders and the religious leaders was held at the Ledra Palace Hotel at the Buffer Zone in Lefkoşa.

Prof. Dr. Talip Atalay on behalf of Presidency of Religious Affairs, Archbishop II. Hrisostomos on behalf of Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Soueif on behalf of Cyprus Maronite Church, Archbishop Narek on behalf of Cyprus Armenian Orthodox Church, Jerzi Kraj on behalf of Cyprus Latin Catholic Church and Ambassador of Sweden Klas Gierov attended the meeting.

The issues of accession to the religious places and support of the religious leaders for the solution process were discussed during the meeting.

In remarks after the meeting, the moderator of the Office of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, Peter Weiderud said the religious leaders of Cyprus have come a long way since the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process under the auspices of the Embassy of Sweden brought them together in 2009. “At that time the religious leaders had not talked to each other, only about each other and their communities, since the conflict started in 1963”. He said the Cyprus conflict “is not a religious conflict but religion and freedom of religion have become victims of the conflict” and as many other human rights principles, “religion has sometimes been used to fuel the conflict of this island”.

Leaders meet religious leaders

He remarked that the “willingness of both community leaders to meet with the religious leaders in Ledra Palace gives great hope not only for the advancement of the common agenda on freedom of religion and belief but also how religion and dialogue of the religious leaders can better contribute to sustainable peace on the island and that has very much been the focus of the talks today”.

Weiderud said the religious leaders reiterated their principle request to have free access for worship, upkeep, renovation and restoration of their respective religious monuments on both sides of the Green Line. They also reiterated, and it was appreciated, to have regular meetings when needed between the religious leaders and the community leaders.

The religious leaders also reiterated their position outlined in February where they expressed their support to the political process and offered “their strong support to the community leaders to the dedicated work they are doing”.

Asked whether the discussion included the issue of religious property on both sides, Weiderud said the “principle of access to all places of worship has been addressed not only today but continuously by all religious leaders”. He said this was fully understood by the community leaders and fully shared. “This is a basic principle of human rights”, he said, adding that with the history of the conflict “we are talking about a lot of practical problems”. He explained that some of these issues have to take some time to resolve and it is important to find the proper mechanism to do that. “We are talking several hundred of places of worship and monuments where there is problem with access and limitations on both sides. It is a huge problem but it has to be addressed in a proper and sustainable way”, he remarked.

Asked if something tangible has come out of the first meeting of the political and religious leaders, he said “this has been the first meeting in the history of Cyprus in this setting, between the religious leaders and the political leaders. We cannot expect to come out with a lot of details and what has been decided. That would be unfair and unwise”.

Weiderud said “it was a meeting of sharing and perspectives and offering a common understanding and also hope for the future of Cyprus and hope for a solution. This they all agree upon. So they have discussed specific issues but they have to be announced by the religious leaders and by political leaders in due time”.

Schulz: “Use current momentum and window of opportunity”

Greek Cypriot daily Simerini published the interview of the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz with Sigmalive.

Martin Schultz

In his interview regarding the negotiation process, Schulz made a call to President Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader to use the current momentum and window of opportunity.

Expressing that he has contacts with the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades and he is informed about the developments, Schulz added “I am sure that if the advisors and the people of both leaders support them, a solution is possible in Cyprus.”

The Leaders will meet again on Monday

President Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades will meet again on 14 September within the framework of the negotiations to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Akinci and Anastasiades

United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide will also attend the meeting. The meeting will take place in a building used by the Goodwill Mission at the buffer zone in Lefkoşa at 10:00 am.

The Concert of Livaneli- Farantouri

Within the framework of the 1 September World Peace Day celebrations, a press conference will be held on the 5 September about the bi communal concert that the Turkish composer Zülfü Livaneli and the Greek singer Maria Farantouri will take  the stage on the evening of 18 September.

The Press conference will take place at the Home for Cooperation at the buffer zone at 11:30.

Maria Farantouri and Zülfü Livaneli

PEO from South Cyprus and DEV-IS, KTAMS, KTÖS, KTOEÖS, BES and KOOP-SEN from North Cyprus are jointly organizing the concert. Bi-communal United Peace Initiative also supports the Livaneli-Farantouri concert.

The concert will be held under the slogan of “Peace and Reunification”.

The concert will be free to enter and will start at 20.00 at the Cetinkaya field in the buffer zone in Lefkoşa.

Cypriot artists Kouils Theodorou and Umut Albayrak will also accompany the artists at the concert.

DNA Laboratory was represented at the 26th ISFG Congress

The DNA Laboratory that continues its activities within the Committee on Missing Persons’ Turkish Cypriot Member Office was represented at the 26th ISFG Congress, which was organized by the International Society for Forensic Genetics (ISFG) in Poland.  The DNA Laboratory has contributed to presentation of the scientific study which was held with the partnership of the University of Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute and Santiago de Compostella University Institute of Forensic Sciences.

ISFG 2015

Both presentations received an invitation to take part in the Forensic Science International: Genetics Supplement Series Journal, in a special issue which will be published in 2015.

The DNA Laboratory has successfully completed the certification process related to the international external quality assurance program and ISFG English-speaking Working Group, Kinship Tests Work 2015.

Davutoğlu discusses negotiation process with Tusk

President of the European Union Council Donald Tusk exchanged views with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu regarding the negotiation process before his visit to Cyprus.

In his statement following the meeting, Davutoğlu said that he discussed the Cyprus issue with Tusk and held contacts within the context of negotiations continuing in Cyprus.

Donald Tusk and Ahmet Davutoğlu

Davutoğlu added  “We have reached an agreement to continue the negotiations as result oriented. I hope our contacts will continue with an increasing pace in the following days”.

Tusk who arrived in Cyprus last night after completing his contacts in Turkey will start his contacts today and hold separate meetings with President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades. (Kıbrıs Postası)

18th TURKSOY Opera Days on 15-24 September

Traditional “TURKSOY Opera Days” which is organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey and the Ministry of Public Works Environment and Culture, will be held both in Turkey and in the TRNC between the dates of 15-24 September.

Events of the 18th TURKSOY Opera Days will be held in the memory of “Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic veteran artist, Folk Singer of the SSCB and the People’s Artist”  Mincılkıyev Bolotin.

18th Turksoy Opera Days

The Concerts within the framework of the event will take place at the Leyla Gencer Opera and Arts Centre in Istanbul, Bellapais Monastery in TRNC and Aspendos Antique Theatre in Antalya.

The TRNC Concerts will be held on 17 and 18 September and Opera Singer Beste Berk will represent the TRNC.

10 opera singers from TRNC, Azerbaijan, Bashkortostan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Tatarstan and Turkey will participate in the 18th TURKSOY Opera Days.

ENI CEO: Cyprus’ gas could find a way to Europe through the group’s plant in Egypt

CEO of energy group ENI Claudio Descalzi, who visited Thursday the Greek Cypriot side, said that he discussed with Nicos Anastasiades the possibility to create good synergies between South Cyprus, Egypt and ENI to export Cyprus` natural gas to Europe through the company`s Damietta LNG plant. Descalzi said, they discussed the possible developments in the Eastern Mediterranean sea after the big gas discovery ENI made in Egypt. “I think we can create good synergies with the Egyptian facilities and we can also discuss about future development, a development following the same kind of geological model that we developed and discovered in Egypt”, he said.

ENI CEO

ENI has an empty energy plant in Damietta, Egypt, he said and noted that natural gas found in South Cyprus could find its way to Europe through the company’s facility in Egypt and such a development could be very positive for South Cyprus, Egypt and Europe. He noted however that Egypt has an important role to play in such a prospect which is not only a matter between companies. At the same time, Claudio Descalzi confirmed the group`s strong commitment to continuing the exploration in South Cyprus` blocks 2, 3, and 9 and to additional possible investments. He also said that ENI is reassessing its geological model in Cyprus` blocks after its major discovery in Egypt and may focus on another target in the same blocks.

Mavroyiannis says we will have picture over prospect for solution by end of the year

Greek Cypriot negotiator at the Cyprus talks Andreas Mavroyiannis said on Thursday that by the end of the year we will have a better picture as to the prospect of a Cyprus solution.

Mavroyiannis stressed that the ongoing effort to solve the Cyprus problem aims to a difficult yet possible “reconciliation” of  bizonality and bicommunalism with human rights, international law and the European acquis.“The distance that separates the two sides on some issues is long”, Mavroyiannis said speaking on the developments in the Cyprus talks, during an event organized by Frederick University, under the title “The Cyprus problem in international and European law – Developments and prospects”. He reiterated however that after Mustafa Akinci took over as the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, “we got rid of extreme approaches regarding two states” and “we now speak about a common vision of the two leaders for a federal solution that would reconcile the principles of international law, European acquis and human rights”. The solution, said Mavroyiannis, should be consistent with the internal, European and international law and stressed that a bizonal, bicommunal state should have a single international personality and a single citizenship.

Andreas Mavroyiannis

On the property issue he said that the two sides have gone into deep discussion and noted that it is important that it has been agreed that the individual’s right to property is recognized and now the two sides examine ways and procedures for the exercise of this right. However the Greek Cypriot negotiator noted that the false euphoria over the course of the negotiations complicates things, adding that “a lot of work needs to be done”. Replying to a question he said that it cannot be said that a solution will be reached by the end of 2015, but in three months there will be a picture as regards the prospect to solve the Cyprus problem.

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