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Cyprus

Greek, Turkish Cypriots call for reunification, plan march

The buffer zone

More than 100 organisations from both sides of the divide and abroad, called on Wednesday for Cyprus’ reunification as a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality.

A total 113 groups, parties, and trade unions said they back a bicommunal mobilisation scheduled to take place on Saturday on both sides of the divide in Nicosia, as a means of responding to the negative political climate ahead of next week’s informal summit in Geneva.

“Greek and Turkish Cypriots are marching together along the common route to reunification, rejecting all proposals leading all forms of partition. Walking together is the essence of success!” the groups said in a joint declaration.

Cyprus, they said, is yet again at critical crossroads. “Before the danger of permanent division and tension, we are demanding that the political leaderships on both sides abandon their express or covert opposition to a federal solution and respond positively and clearly to the UNSG proposals.”

In contrast to the lack of political will by the leadership, they added, conditions within civil society on both sides of the barbed wire are completely different. “Despite widespread disappointment, Turkish and Greek Cypriots have demonstrated an unprecedented resolution in their will for reunification and peace in a bizonal, bicommunal federation.”

They said that, under these conditions, civil society is taking the lead.

The groups also demanded “the immediate opening of all crossing points” as provided by the recent UN Security Council Resolution with the same health controls implemented in other parts of the island.

They also said that the bicommunal committee on health must be empowered to enhance cooperation between the two communities to combat the pandemic.

They called for strengthening cooperation in all fields such as trade and employment “in all parts of our de facto divided country and access to international markets based on the Green Line Regulation to minimise the negative economic burden on the T/C community resulting from the prevailing extraordinary conditions.”

The group also called on the UN secretary-general to take practical steps to implement the UN Security Council resolutions on Famagusta, including the proposal for a bi-communal technical committee of experts and representatives to plan and develop the closed areas of Famagusta with a view to returning it to its pre-1974 inhabitants under an interim UN administration.

The declaration is also signed by main opposition parties in the south and north, Akel and the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) respectively.

The march will start at 5.30pm, on both sides of Nicosia. In the south, the rally will start from Eleftheria Square.

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