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Greek and Turkish Cypriot unions to unite for peace

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Union officials speaking on Tuesday morning

Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade unions are to hold a joint event at the Home for Cooperation in the buffer zone in Nicosia to mark World Peace Day on Friday.

The unions made a joint statement at the home for cooperation on Tuesday morning, read in Turkish by Dev-Is chairman Koral Mavis and in Greek by Peo general secretary Sotiroula Charalambous.

They said “the world is facing an intensification of competition, interference, and armed conflict to control energy resources and markets.

“At a time when workers are faced with neoliberal policies, impoverishment, expensiveness, and inflation, governments increase military expenditures while they should direst resources to health, education and social aid”.

They described military alliance Nato as “an aggressive organisation linked to imperialist wars that does not respect the sovereignty and rights of people” and called for its dissolution.

The unions also added that “Cypriot workers, who have lived through the consequences of the imperialist plans of Nato and their allies for 50 years, support all peoples who have been put through the trials of war”, while also calling for the Ukraine war to be ended with “a solution based on international law”.

They said Cypriot workers have a “common struggle for the solution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of Cyprus is a part of the wider struggle of all peoples of the world for world peace”.

In addition, they encouraged Cyprus’s two leaders to “tangibly reaffirm their commitment to the [Cyprus problem] solution” and for negotiations to continue from where they left off in Crans Montana in 2017.

“We call on all workers to join us at the event to be held in honour of September 1, to oppose armament and imperialist interventions, and to send a strong message that we will continue our common struggle with the goal of peace and reunification, for more spending on health, education, and social security,” they said.

Asam said the day had been declared Global Action Day for Peace to commemorate the victims of Nazi Germany and to remind people of the consequences of imperialist aggression.

He added that the special importance this year in Cyprus “comes from the damage caused to the Cypriot people by the stagnation in the Cyprus problem and peace talks, and the fact that workers cannot have a healthy economy and a stable life unless a stable solution is reached”.

Turkish Cypriot teachers’ trade union KTOS general secretary Burak Mavis added he does not “support the attacks against freedom of religion and conscience, belief, and worship” seen on the island in recent weeks, after a mosque was attacked at the end of last week.

He added that “the culture of violence caused great pain between 1963 and 1974 and the problems should be solved by getting away from the culture and discourse of violence and coming together at the [negotiating] table”.

The joint event will take place at the Home for Cooperation on September 1, beginning at 7:30pm.

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