Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday that the efforts of the Cypriot chairmanship of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers bear fruit with the opening for signature of the Convention on offences related to cultural property.
President Anastasiades was addressing the 127th Ministerial Meeting of the Council of Europe, in Nicosia, a presidency press release issued here today says.
“The Republic of Cyprus attaches immense importance to the Council of Europe, as the guardian of our common values and principles I hope and believe that Cyprus’s Chairmanship has demonstrated Cyprus’s deep commitment to the Council of Europe’s vision to uphold and safeguard peace, democracy, prosperity, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all on the European continent, “ he said.
He added that “the Cypriot chairmanship, recognizing the importance of investing in the future, prioritised the concept of “active citizenship” with emphasis on the role of education, which is a fundamental component of any measure taken to address discrimination, prejudice and intolerance.”
“Bearing in mind our own historical experiences, the destruction of cultural heritage following the 1974 tragic events,” he said referring to Turkey`s invasion and subsequent occupation of the island`s northern third, “the Cypriot chairmanship attached great importance to the protection of cultural heritage, undertaking significant efforts to finalize the Council of Europe’s `Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property.`”,
Today, President Anastasiades continued, “these efforts bear fruits with the opening for signature, here in Nicosia, of the `Convention on Offences Related to Cultural Property`.”
“I would therefore like to congratulate you for this important legal instrument that will contribute towards safeguarding our common cultural heritage and support our collective efforts in combatting the financing of terrorism through the trafficking of cultural property.” he said.
Referring to the ongoing UN led talks which aim to reunify the island under a federal roof President Anastasiades noted that “currently, we have reached a critical juncture in the process, since discussions are underway for the next steps forward.”
“Within this context, I have put forward a creative proposal as to the methodology we could adopt that would allow us to finally break the current impasse, bridge the differences, and establish the parameters, through a sequential approach to constructive negotiations to reach a comprehensive settlement on the Cyprus problem,” he added.
He stressed that “it is my belief that a successful conclusion of the negotiations for reaching a viable and functional settlement to the Cyprus problem, will have positive ripple effects for our regional peace, security and stability, and will undoubtedly contribute to the democratic security in Europe.”
Concluding his remarks Anastasiades wished “every success to the Czech Republic as the incoming chairmanship” and assured that Cyprus “is and will remain a fervent proponent of the Council of Europe.”/IBNA