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Impact of overseas Cypriots to be discussed at conference

Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou

Concrete decisions over initiatives and actions that Cypriots living abroad can take when interacting with foreign decision-makers will be discussed at the 20th world conference of Cyprus’ diaspora taking place next week in Nicosia.

Speaking on Friday, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said organisations representing overseas Cypriots will be briefed on matters relating to the Cyprus problem, Turkey’s actions in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, the island’s energy plans, missing persons, the Islamisation and distortion of demographics in the north and the destruction of religious and cultural heritage in the north.

He expressed his wish that Cyprus’ diaspora would promote Cyprus’ positions on these issues in the countries where they resided and to powerful decision-making centres such as the US, the UK, Australia and other countries.

Photiou on Friday also presented a guide which has been prepared for overseas and repatriated Cypriots drafted by the state and the university of Nicosia in both Greek and English that outlines actions and programmes on the island aimed at younger generations of overseas Cypriots stick to learn about their roots, their history, their language, their culture, their traditions.

The overseas Cypriots conference will take place from Tuesday to Friday, at the Philoxenia, the opening ceremony of which will be addressed by President Nicos Anastasiades.

The conference will be attended among others by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Greek diaspora Antonis Diamataris, the chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Isaac Herzog, the High Commissioner for Diaspora of Armenia Zareh John Sinanyan, the Minister for Romanians Abroad Natalia Intotero, and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Nemanja Stevanovic.

Photiou said bilateral or trilateral memorandums of understanding on diaspora issues have been signed with these countries, noting the trilateral cooperation which Cyprus and Greece have with Israel, Armenia and Egypt. He also noted that Cyprus is planning to conclude bilateral agreements with Italy, Ireland and Portugal.

Investment opportunities in the island will also be presented by the chairman of the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (Cipa) and the national chief scientist for research and innovation of Cyprus. Cyprus’ Olympic Committee will inform delegates about a sponsorship programme for Cypriot athletes who will participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo and there will also be a presentation of Cyprus’ initiative on climate change, Photiou said.

He added that a group of young members of the diasporas of Cyprus, Greece and Israel will be in Cyprus during the conference as part of a visit to each of the three counties at the end of August within the framework of a programme aiming at bringing the diasporas of the three countries closer.

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