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Cyprus Articles [ Elders: Cypriot media ‘scathing and pessimistic’ ]
Elders: Cypriot media ‘scathing and pessimistic’
THE CYPRIOT media on both sides of the Green Line was slammed yesterday by the visiting Elders who said the glut of negative reporting could hamper Cyprus’ latest effort to resolve the island’s decades-old divide.
“What we hear here is that the press is rather negative, skeptical, critical and we think that the role of the press in a country like Cyprus is to educate. We think that it is in the interest of everybody if there was more faith, more support, more understanding for what these two very courageous leaders [President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat] are doing,” said Lakhdar Brahimi at press conference yesterday rounding off a two-day visit to the island.
The Elders is a non-governmental organisation created in 2007 by British businessman Richard Branson and musician Peter Gabriel, and aims to assist in solving conflicts across the globe. Its members include elder statesmen such as Neslon Mandela, Desmond Tutu and former US president Jimmy Carter.
Also speaking on the media’s negative role in Cyprus’ ongoing dispute, Brahimi’s fellow Elder Gro Brundtland said she had been disappointed by the way the Cypriot media tended to take a pessimistic and scathing attitude towards efforts to resolve the problem.
“It’s important everywhere to have responsible reporting,” she said.
“The media is very influential on public opinion, so one should think, what can the media do to stimulate the opportunity to reach as solution?” She added that too often the media focused more on the tragic events of the past rather than on what benefits a solution could bring in the future.
Aside from their criticism of the Cypriot media, Brahimi and Brundtland said they were encouraged by the goodwill and determination of other players in the conflict. Their visits to Athens and Ankara prior to their arrival in Cyprus had left them feeling hopeful.
“It was made very clear to us and repeated by several of those we met that they support strongly the negotiations that are going on between the two leaders in Cyprus,” Bundtland said.
She said also that the attitudes of the leaders and others they had met in Cyprus left them with the impression that a solution was not an impossibility.
“Today we have seen both leaders and we are encouraged by what we have heard,” she said, adding that they had received a “very clear sense that they had a successful second phase starting meeting yesterday. They are optimistic and determined”
But Brahimi made it clear he and his colleagues in the Elders were not naïve enough to think solving the Cyprus problem was easy and warned that the current framework for negotiations was “the only game plan” and one that was accepted by “everyone everywhere”.
(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.
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