Cyprus Mail

MEP shocked by ‘scarred’ Famagusta

scilderwan and stephanou
German MEP Martin Schirdewan (left) at the Varosha viewing point in Dherynia

Akel on Saturday called on people to join the bicommunal rally taking place on Sunday morning in Dherynia which will call for reunification of the island.

The rally is supported by more than 100 parties, groups, organisations and trade unions from both sides of the divide and abroad.

German MEP Martin Schirdewan, co-chair of The Left in the European Parliament (GUE/NGL) is in Cyprus on Akel’s invitation to take part in the rally.

Schirdewan was briefed on Saturday about the fenced area of Varosha, from the Dherynia viewing point by Famagusta mayor Simos Ioannou and former mayor Kikis Kazamias.

“I am moved and impressed by what I’ve seen here today,” the MEP said. “The beautiful city of Famagusta is deeply scarred by the decades of occupation.”

He said this was a political problem he would take with to the European Parliament and address it there to work for a solution and for reunification with Akel and the EU parliament.

He said Sunday’s bicommunal rally was “a very important event”.

According to Akel leader Stefanos Stefanou, the initial plan was for them to go to Varosha so that the delegation would witness first-hand the situation, but the north did not allow then to cross without showing their passports, and they refused to do that.

He said Sunday’s march for reunification was to express concerns over “the very negative developments” on the Cyprus problem due to the escalating intransigent stance of Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.

“The most recent example of this intransigence was the opening for part of Varosha and that is why they we chose to hold the rally in the free Famagusta area,” Stefanou said.

He said that any experiments on the Cyprus problem needed to stop and called for consistency and focus “on what the UN secretary-general has had as a position for the past four years.” He said Akel’s position is that the talks must start from where they left off in 2017 in Crans-Montana, for the sides to negotiate on the Guterres Framework and preserve the convergences.

“It is important to push things towards the restart of the talks,” Stephanou said.

He called on people to join the rally to send a powerful message against the island’s partition and that they will not settle for the impasse and the negotiation void.

Participants will gather at Zappeion Palace events hall in Dherynia at 9.30am and march to the Dherynia crossing.



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