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Cyprus

House passes resolutions on Hagia Sophia, and Kokkina, Pyroi crossings

MPs on Friday approved two resolutions, one condemning the decision by Turkey to convert Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and another calling on the president to decisively demand from the Turkish Cypriot side that the Kokkina and Pyroi crossings be opened.

The resolution on Hagia Sophia, tabled by ruling Disy, was voted for unanimously.

The resolution points out that Hagia Sophia remains an ecumenical symbol of religious worship but also world cultural heritage monument that belongs to all of humanity.

It also said that it constituted one of the greatest monuments to Christian civilisation and a symbol of the Christian orthodox world, “recognised as a unique work of art of the byzantine period, which has influenced a number of later built orthodox churches, ottoman mosques, Eastern and Western art.”

The House of Representatives “condemns the Turkish government’s intention which has been announced to convert Hagia Sophia’s existing status, which inflames the region’s climate and provokes the sentiment of Christians and everyone who believed and continues to believe in freedom and peace.”

The plenum also approved a resolution calling on President Nicos Anastasiades to decisively demand from the Turkish Cypriot leadership that the Kokkina and Pyroi crossing points be opened.

According to the resolution, tabled by the Greens, the residents of the Tylliria area and the Polis Chrysochous district are suffering from the fact that the road has been closed since 1964 due to the creation of the Kokkina military enclave.

It also notes that the inhabitants of the municipality of Athienou also suffer greatly since they need to travel many kilometres daily to reach Nicosia due to the occupation of a small part of the highway that connects Athienou with Aglandjia through Pyroi.

It also points out that the improvement of the accessibility of these areas would result in more opportunities for the revitalisation of local economic and social development and would facilitate the daily life of residents. The resolution also states that the opening of crossing points in the Kokkina and Pyroi areas did not require the operation of checkpoints.

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