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Cyprus Holds Monumental Meeting Between Political & Religious Premiers

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Cyprus' religious leaders came together for the first time today, as they pledged their collaborative support concerning a solution for their island.

The monumental meeting was held at the Ledra Palace Hotel, under the auspices of the Swedish Embassy. Delegates included Church of Cyprus Archibishop Chrysostomos II, Mufti of Cyprus Talip Atalay, Archbishop of the Maronite Church of Cyprus Soueif, Archbishop of the Armenian Orthodox Church of Cyprus Nareg and Reverend Jerzy Kraj of the Latin Catholic Church of Cyprus, as reported by Parikiaki.

They met prior to being received by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for lunch. Swedish Ambassador Klas Gierow and Office of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process Moderator Peter Weiderud were also in attendance.

Weiderud described the Cypriot issue after the meeting concluded, "...is not a religious conflict but religion and freedom of religion have become victims of the conflict...religion has sometimes been used to fuel the conflict of this island...the Cyprus conflict has hampered the development of a fully modern understanding of freedom of religion in both communities".

The Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process Moderator added, "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".

(Photo Source: Cyprus UN Talks)