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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Slovakia to mark 20 years of Cyprus parties bi-communal dialogue ]

Slovakia to mark 20 years of Cyprus parties bi-communal dialogue

Slovakia to mark 20 years of Cyprus parties bi-communal dialogue
March 23, 2009

The Slovak government will host on May 14-17 Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot parties in Bratislava to mark the twentieth anniversary of dialogue between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot parties.

Speaking during a press conference, Slovak Ambassador to Cyprus Anna Turenicova, whose country facilitates these meetings in Nicosia, expressed hope these gatherings will ''give an impetus'' to the ongoing UN-led negotiations for the settlement of the problem of Cyprus, divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

''The ambition of the Slovak diplomacy is not to solve the Cyprus problem. Our ambition is not to impose any solution. It is the Cypriot people who will decide for their future,'' she added.

Turenicova said that all started in spring 1989, when leaders from both communities in Cyprus approached the Ambassador of the then Czechoslovakia to Cyprus Dr Emile Kedlusek and they came to the idea to organize the very first meeting, on 16 May 1989 in Prague. Five G/c leaders and three T/c leaders participated in the meeting, Demetris Christofias, current Cyprus President, late President Tassos Papadopoulos, former President Glafcos Clerides, Vasos Lyssarides and Nicos Rolandis on behalf of the Greek Cypriot community and Late Ozger Ozgur, deceased, Mustafa Akkinci and Ismet Kodak on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot community.

''These gentlemen were the pioneers,'' they started this bi-communal dialogue in Prague and because they considered that such discussions were useful they decided to continue these meetings also in Nicosia. That's how it started and this year we commemorate the twentieth anniversary,'' she added.

Recalling that there were times when the dialogue between G/c and T/c parties ''was the only communication channel in the communities to listen to each other,'' Turenicova expressed her admiration and appreciation for the people participating in these meetings.

''If you have a problem with someone you have to communicate with him and especially peace cannot be achieved by passivity, by non-communication,'' she added.

Speaking on behalf of AKEL, Christos Christofides said that these meetings do not aim at solving the Cyprus problem ''but they play a very important role by keeping the road towards a settlement open.''

Keti Clerides on behalf of DISY party said ''it is very shameful that after 20 years of dialogue we still have not managed to solve the Cyprus problem. ''I hope that in Bratislava we will celebrate the beginning of the end and the solution of the Cyprus problem. Dialogue is very important but it has to lead somewhere.''

Praxoulla Antoniades of United Democrats highlighted the importance of communications adding that the leaders of the political parties from the two communities were the first to walk in Ledras Street, the road dividing Nicosia, thus paving the way and exercising pressure for the opening the Ledra Street crossing.

CTP representative Erkut Sahali expressed hope that another 20 years of discussion will not be necessary. ''Hopefully the very near days coming are the days of solution and peace in our common homeland,'' he concluded.

(Source: Financial Mirror,

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