The statement released on 26 February 2014 by the religious leaders on the Island, expressing support for the resumption of the negotiation process following the Joint Declaration reached by the Leaders of the two sides on 11 February 2014, is considered as an extremely important and historical development by our Ministry.

The joint statement that has been released with the participation of all the religious leaders of the Island, at a meeting held under the auspices of the Embassy of Sweden, is a promising development from the perspective of the masses they represent. The statement which was agreed upon by the Head of the TRNC Religious Affairs Department, Mr. Talip Atalay, the Archbishop of the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church, Hrisostomos II, the Archbishop of the Maronite Church, Youssef Souif, the Archbishop of the Armenian Church, Varoujan Herkelian and the representative of the Latins in Cyprus, Bishop George Kraj, will undoubtedly give strength to the two Leaders and motivate them at the negotiation table.

The expression in the aforementioned statement that, “for many decades, we were not able to meet, listen and understand each other. In the recent years, we have agreed to meet regularly, express our respect and listen to each other” is a clear demonstration of the importance of the contribution and determination of the religious leaders in relation to the current positive atmosphere and to the efforts to solve the political conflict on the Island.

The responsibilities shouldered by the religious leaders and the steps taken in preparing their communities for a mutually acceptable solution is considered to be an extremely positive development contributing to the newly resumed negotiation process.

The agreement reached by the religious leaders should be supported by all the communities living on the Island and all other concerned sides as it carries significance in terms of embracing the negotiation process and ensuring the sustainability of a solution.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to take this opportunity to share with the public that it will stand by every initiative in support of the negotiation process and spare no effort to contribute towards that end.