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Cyprus

Archbishop urges president to take firm stand in Switzerland

Archbishop Chrysostomos urged President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday to put his foot down at the talks on territorial adjustments taking place in Switzerland next week.

The president received the primate at the Presidential Palace where he informed him on the latest developments concerning the Cyprus problem and the upcoming talks in Switzerland.

Following the meeting, the archbishop said that he heard with “great attention” the views of the president and that Anastasiades “listened with great attention” to his own views.

“They are going there (Mont Pelerin) to discuss, to make decisions,” the archbishop said.

“He has to put his foot down and we will be by his side. We want him to succeed for the good of our people and our homeland,” he said.

If a proper state is set up, the archbishop said, there would be no need for intervention rights, “because if we have a proper state and we are doing well, what reason will Turkey have to intervene?”

Asked whether he suggested to Anastasiades his view that the Turkish Cypriot community should be given no more than 25 per cent of the island’s territory, he said that it was brought up.

“If we can give even less, yes, but it is not up to us. It will be a tough negotiation,” the archbishop said.

He had said earlier in the year that the church would never agree to a settlement which it deemed unacceptable and would call the faithful to reject any such plan.

He gave as an example any agreement giving the Turkish Cypriots more than 25 per cent of the territory.

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