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Cyprus

Anastasiades secures Archbishop’s backing

The Archbishop going to the presidential palace at the height of the bailout crisis in March 2013

Archbishop Chrysostomos on Thursday publicly lent the President his backing on the issue of the joint declaration that paved the way for resumption of peace talks.

“The joint statement is neither the end-all and be-all, nor is it the end of the [Cyprus] problem,” the Prelate told reporters coming out of a one-hour meeting with President Anastasiades.

Rather the joint declaration is a general framework for the coming talks, said Chrysostomos, and at the end of the day what counts is the outcome of the actual negotiations.

The head of the Church was lending his support to the President, who has taken flak from coalition partners DIKO and smaller opposition parties over the content of the joint declaration, which they find problematic.

Main opposition AKEL has backed Anastasiades.

Chrysostomos said that he, too, was initially troubled by certain references in the declaration, but added that his concerns have been allayed after consulting constitutional experts.

The Prelate went a step further, urging the public – even dissenters – not to get caught up in arguing over the wording of a document.

Torpedoing the negotiations before they began would be pointless, said the top cleric.

Instead, attention should be focused on the negotiations, so that “nothing negative slips” into the solution presented to the people in a referendum.

Chrysostomos called on people, whatever their objections may be, to get behind the President and his negotiating team.

During the meeting with the President, the Archbishop proposed launching a public awareness campaign to inform the public about what a federal solution will be.

“It will be a sort of partnership…and we shall no longer be on our own. We shall have to sacrifice something, and the Turks as well.”

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