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Nearing a solution to the Cyprus Problem?

07 July 2015

Chris Theobald

UCLan Cyprus hosts important political discussion

Pictured left to right at the debate: Nicos Tornadrides, Dionysis Dionysiou, Stafanos Stephanou, and Niazi Kizilyiourek. 

Political and community leaders from across the Cypriot population converged at UCLan Cyprus recently to discuss potential solutions that could lead to a future Cyprus reconciliation.

Entitled ‘Nearing a solution to the Cyprus problem?’, over 200 delegates packed into the UCLan Cyprus auditorium to hear the views of key speakers Nicos Tornarides, the Parliamentary representative of the Governing DISI party; Stefanos Stefanou from the AKEL opposition party; and Niazi Kizilyiourek, Dean of the School of Humanities at the University of Cyprus.

The discussion was coordinated by the well-known political columnist Dionysis Dionysiou and was also attended by representatives from Cyprus’ four major television channels.

In his speech Nicos Tornaritis explained that a large majority of Cypriots expect a democratic dialogue to take place for a better future. He said that although differences existed they were not insurmountable. “Positive conditions have developed which favour a solution and need to be exploited,” he said.

“This event led to some extremely good connections being forged and we hope to play a key role in cultivating these in the weeks and months ahead.”

Stefanos Stefanou from the AKEL opposition party responded by highlighting the important example played by Pyla where different communities live together in peace. “We need to make Cyprus a large Pyla,” he said.

Finally Mr Niazi Kizilyiourek, delivering his speech in both Greek and Turkish, said the environment was now conducive for a fresh attempt at reconciliation because the mistakes of the past were finally being recognised by both communities. He concluded: “The Cyprus problem is not an issue of concessions or retreats but an issue of respect for human rights.”

Both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots took part in the event, taking advantage of automatic translation devices to facilitate a constructive dialogue where various concerns and suggestions were discussed.

After the proceedings had concluded Melinda Tan, Rector of UCLan Cyprus, said: “This event was a great success for UCLan Cyprus. As a University which is situated in Pyla, where both Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities live peacefully side-by-side, we feel we have a duty to contribute to impartial and constructive ideas that can lead to a positive future for the whole Island. This event led to some extremely good connections being forged and we hope to play a key role in cultivating these in the weeks and months ahead.”