Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs Shaun Casey meets with the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process
On 8 March 2016, Office of Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process hosted the meeting of the religious leaders of Cyprus with the Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs of the US State Department Dr. Shaun Casey at the residence of the Swedish Ambassador Mr. Klas Gierow. Special Representative Casey is in Cyprus to meet with religious leaders of Cyprus and the Office of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden and learn about their work for peace and reconciliation.
“Religious leaders are the guideposts for their communities in espousing values of respect, offering pardon, welcoming the stranger, and caring for one another. These values are shared across religious traditions and historically have served as the cornerstone of reconciliation,” stated Dr. Casey at the Press Conference following the meeting.
“I have been amazed at the dedication and hard work of the religious leaders in Cyprus, who categorically condemn all forms of violence and are building ties amongst their followers towards a just, comprehensive and lasting solution for all of the people of Cyprus.” “The religious leaders I have met in Cyprus already are engaging courageously in conversations about tough issues, such as brokering church/mosque property issues, security concerns, territorial boundaries, and the like. While incredibly important and fruitful, the process of reconciliation begins with ordinary people. This is where religious leaders and communities are integral in illustrating that no conflict needs to be permanent. And this has and must continue to be modeled as Cyprus works toward a settlement…and beyond.”
“We had very fruitful, frank and interesting discussions with the Special Representative today and would like to express our appreciation to the government of the United States of America for their keen interest in the efforts of the religious leaders within the framework of the Religious Track”. Stated Peter Weiderud, Moderator of the Religious Track and Director of the Swedish Institute, Alexandria in welcoming Special Representative Casey.
As part of his visit Dr Casey is also visiting holy sites and meeting with members of the religious communities and civil society.