House President Demetris Syllouris told a gathering in St. Petersburg on cultural pluralism and its contribution to peaceful societies, that Cypriots, despite the 1974 Turkish invasion, had managed to maintain their respect for people of different backgrounds.
Religion, he said, never posed a problem among the two communities in Cyprus, noting that the Cyprus problem had its roots in the interests of foreign powers and their interventions.
He also said that lawmakers must give the example and promote legislation and policies that foster tolerance, understanding and readiness for constructive interfaith and inter-ethnic dialogue.
The St Petersburg conference is being attended by 2,000 delegates, including over 800 MPs and 86 Speakers of Parliament, and is the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The conference ends on October 18 October.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, on the sidelines of the meeting, the Cyprus Group held a discussion on the Cyprus issue with the participation of members of the Cyprus parliament and representatives of Turkish Cypriot parties.
The Cypriot MPs expressed their disappointment for the outcome of the Crans-Montana talks but underlined the Greek Cypriot side’s commitment for the resumption of the talks in order to reach a solution on the basis of international law, the UNSC resolutions and the principles and values of the EU.
The meeting was attended by Cypriot MPs Nikos Tornaritis, Skevi Koutra Koukouma, Marinos Moushiouttas and Anna Theologou.