Concrete decisions about initiatives and actions that can be undertaken by the organizations of Cypriots living abroad towards foreign decision-making centres will be taken during the 20th World Conference of Cyprus Diaspora that will take place in Nicosia on August 27-30, Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said on Friday, speaking during a press conference.
Photiou said that overseas Cypriots will be briefed on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem, Turkey`s provocative actions in Cyprus` EEZ, the Republic of Cyprus energy plans, foreign policy issues by Foreign Minister, Nikos Christodoulides, the humanitarian issue of missing persons, the Islamization and the distortion of the demographic situation in the occupied areas of Cyprus, as well as about the destruction of the religious and cultural heritage in the occupied part of the island.
We want the organizations of the Cypriot diaspora to promote our positions on these issues to the countries where they live, and to powerful decision-making centres, as the US, the UK, Australia and other countries, the Commissioner noted.
During the press conference a Guide for Overseas and Repatriated Cypriots was presented. The Guide was drafted with the cooperation of competent state authorities with the University of Nicosia. Photiou described the Guide as a very important tool which gives answers to overseas Cypriots` questions. The Guide will be available both in printed and electronic format (on the Commissioner`s office website), in Greek and in English.
Photiou said that the Guide constitutes one of the most important tasks fulfilled in the framework of the National Strategy for the Diaspora. The Guide informs about actions and programmes being implemented so that overseas Cypriots and particularly younger generations stick to their roots, their history, their language, their culture, their traditions, he added.
As regards the overseas Cypriots conference, Photiou said that Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will declare its opening, at the Philoxenia Conference Centre, at 1900 local time on August 27.
Moreover, he noted that the conference will be attended among others by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Diaspora Greeks Antonis Diamataris, the Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Isaac Herzog, the High Commissioner for Diaspora of Armenia Zareh John Sinanyan, the Minister for Romanians Abroad Natalia Intotero, and the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Nemanja Stevanovic.
We have already signed bilateral or trilateral MoUs on diaspora issues with these countries , he added, and referred to the trilateral cooperation which Cyprus and Greece have with Israel, Armenia and Egypt. He also noted that Cyprus is planning to conclude bilateral agreements with Italy, Ireland and Portugal.
Furthermore, he said that the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency (CIPA) Chairman and the National Chief Scientist for Research and Innovation of the Republic of Cyprus will present during the Conference investment opportunities in Cyprus.
Another presentation will concern President Anastasiades` initiative on climate change, while Cyprus Olympic Committee President will inform delegates about a sponsorship programme for Cypriot athletes who will participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Photiou also noted that a group of young members of the diasporas of Cyprus, Greece and Israel will be in Cyprus during the Conference. The group is paying a visit to the three counties at the end of August in the framework of the programme aiming at bringing the diasporas` of the three countries closer.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkey announced its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and send on 4 May 2019 the Turkish drill ship “Fatih”, which remains anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula, in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. A second Turkish drill ship, “Yavuz”, arrived off the island’s north-eastern coast on 8 July 2019.
In response, EU Foreign Ministers endorsed on 15 July 2019 measures concerning Turkey’s illegal drilling in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus. In accordance with the 20 June 2019 European Council conclusions, Foreign Ministers also invited the High Representative and the European Commission to continue working on options for targeted measures in light of Turkey’s continued drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.