RTCYPP News 30.4.18

All five religious leaders of Cyprus took part in today’s luncheon at the Archbishopric of the Church of Cyprus, hosted by His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II for the resident Ambassadors as well as the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Representative of the European Commission.
In his welcoming address Archbishop Chrysostomos II’s thanked the diplomatic community for their presence and for their support to the peacebuilding efforts of the religious leaders, known as the RTCYPP. His Beatitude emphasized the religious leaders’ determination to continue their dialogue and joint efforts so that “eventually we can all have free access to all our religious monuments.”
The gathering followed His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos II’s invitation during the RTCYPP High-Level gathering with the diplomatic community at the Swedish Residence in March.
The Ambassador of Sweden, Anna Olsson Vrang in thanking His Beatitude for his hospitality, said that today’s gathering took place in a “difficult moment for the peace process and the region”, but “the togetherness and continued dialogue among Cyprus’ religious leaders offers a beacon of hope”. The Ambassador stated her view that “Knowledge and experience from all over the world has shown that inter-religious dialogue is an instrument for conflict prevention” She expressed pride that in Cyprus through the efforts of the RTCYPP one can repeatedly witness the religious leaders standing up for each other’s needs and rights. “The religious leaders here have demonstrated that when there is trust, the setbacks which are unavoidable in any conflict, can rather be used as investments and learning for the future rather than being allowed to spoil the entire work.” Ambassador Olsson Vrang reiterated her government’s commitment to continue to support the facilitation of the RTCYPP.
In closing the Dean of the diplomatic corps, Ambassador of Ukraine, Borys Humaniuk expressed the diplomatic community’s strong commitment to a solution of the Cyprus problem, and stressed the importance of the efforts the religious leaders make “with the common aim that is the prosperous life of all communities in Cyprus.”
At the invitation of the Office of RTCYPP, the religious leaders of Cyprus had the opportunity to meet privately prior to the luncheon where they reiterated their commitment to jointly advocate for the respect of religious freedom and to work together for peace, forgiveness and reconciliation to serve all people of Cyprus irrespective of their faith and ethnic identity. The religious leaders of Cyprus restated their conviction that respecting religious freedom as a human right would contribute to confidence and trust building and is a concrete measure for a sustainable peace building.

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