World Bulletin / News Desk
The Slovakian embassy in the Greek Cypriot-controlled southern Cyprus has facilitated a trip of religious sites on the island for both Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot officials.
Slovakian ambassador Oksana Tomov led the group of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot party representatives in a tour of Muslim and Ottoman sites in the city of Baf (Paphos) on Wednesday.
The Cyprus Mail reported that they visited the mosques of the city as well as public baths that were built by the Ottomans.
City mayor Savvas Vergas then briefed the group on the importance of preserving ancient monuments on the island regardless of which religious group in belongs to.
Peace talks between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots resumed in February after a 2 year pause and are currently ongoing.
It is hoped that the talks will lead to a permanent solution for the island that has been divided since 1974 when Turkey exercized its constitutional right to militarily intervene in Cyprus after the Greek extremist militia group EOKA conducted a coup on the government.
Efforts to reunite the island have failed a number of times in the past, which led to Turkish Cypriots in the Turkey-protected north to declare the independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in 1983.
A pre-EU accession referendum was also held in 2004 within the framework of the UN brokered 'Annan Plan', but this again failed to bring peace to Cyprus after the vast majority of Greek Cypriots voted against reunification.
Despite voting in favor of reunification, Turkish Cypriots did not receive any recognition for their state nor did they have international embargoes liften from them. Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriot controlled southern Cyprus was given EU membership.
Today, Turkey is the only country to recognize the TRNC.Last Mod: 04 Nisan 2014, 18:10