Famagusta Gazette 01.SEP.08
No Mass will take place at the Christian Orthodox church of Saint Mamas in Turkish occupied Morphou, following the occupation regime's decision not to give permission to Greek Cypriots to pass through Limnitis crossing point to attend an organized pilgrimage to celebreate the Saint`s day on September 2, President Demetris Christofias has said.
"Unfortunately the position of the other side on the organised pilgrimage has not changed and rightly the Bishop of Morphou decided not to hold the Mass," the President said, adding that the Bishop called him to discuss this issue.
Christofias said the decision of the Turkish Cypriot side not to allow Greek Cypriots to pass through Limnitis "is not the best omen" just a few days before the commencement of the UN-led direct talks between him and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, on September 3.
He expressed regret because the "unilateral good will moves by the Greek Cypriot side have not yet found response by the Turkish side."
President Christofias said that during a long telephone conversation he had with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat the latter gave him assurances that the decision for the opening of Limnitis crossing point will soon be taken.
"We will keep our commitment to begin talks with good will hoping that we will find an extended hand by the other side. We are aware of the difficulties which emerge from various factors and circles of the other side and I sincerely hope that there will be no actions that will pose obstacles and undermine the (solution) efforts," Christofias said.
The Cyprus government has requested from the Turkish Cypriot occupation regime to allow Greek Cypriot pilgrims to visit Saint Mamas Church, following the permission granted from the Cyprus government to Turkish Cypriots to visit Kokkina as part of an annual event to commemorate the bombing of Greek Cypriot villages in the area during the intercommuncal clashes in 1964.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. - Copyright © Famagusta Gazette 2008
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