US Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs Shaun Casey who is having contacts in the island attended the meeting of the Cyprus` religious leaders at the residence of the Swedish Ambassador in Nicosia, within the framework of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process under the Auspices of the Embassy of Sweden.
Cyprus can be a model for coexistence between Muslims and Christians for this entire region, US Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs Shaun Casey has said.
Speaking during press conference following the meeting, Casey said “I am thrilled to be here in this important time when tangible progress is being made to resolve a long-standing division of Cyprus. In my short time in Cyprus I have been impressed by the political leaders who are working hard to find agreement on complex issues of governance, power sharing, property, economy and all the other chapters of the negotiations”, he said.
“I`ve also been amazed at the dedication and hard work of the religious leaders in Cyprus who categorically condemn all forms of violence and building ties amongst their followers towards a just, comprehensive and lasting solution for all the people of Cyprus” he added.
One of the phrases I have heard, he noted, is that the Cyprus conflict has never been a religious conflict. “I have heard that when a solution is reached Cyprus can be a model for coexistence between Muslims and Christians for this entire region” he noted.
In his speech, the President of the Religious Affairs Talip Atalay said that achieving peace in Cyprus would not only benefit the people of the island but also the surrounding region. As he said, we need a peace that will be based on respect, honesty and trust and one that will ensure that the negative experiences of the past will not happen again in the future and, adding that people need to feel safe.
Finally, he expressed support to the peace process and stressed that political leaders are making a good effort to achieve peace, despite the difficulties they encounter on the negotiation table.