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Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Lakhdar Brahimi say the world wants Cyprus to find peace

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Tuesday, 7 October, 2008

Three Elders travel to Cyprus to support political leaders and members of civil society working to end decades of division on the island. 

Three members of The Elders arrive in Cyprus tomorrow, Wednesday 8 October, to meet political leaders, civil society representatives and young people from the island’s Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US President Jimmy Carter and former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi aim to lend their support and encouragement to those working towards ending the island’s decades of division.

Commending the efforts of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, the Elders emphasise that they will not be involved in the current negotiations.

Desmond Tutu

 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chair of The Elders, said:

“We are here to say that the world wants this island to find peace – we wish it with all our hearts. We encourage all Cypriots to look forward to the potential benefits that a peaceful resolution can bring. And we want to make sure that the current efforts of the Cypriot leaders to reach a lasting settlement are fully supported by the international community.”

The Elders said they are looking forward to their first meeting, which will be a discussion with young people from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.

Jimmy Carter  

Former US President Jimmy Carter said:

“Today’s young people are the ones who will live with the outcome of their leaders’ work. The first time in their lives that they will cast a ballot may even be to vote on the outcome of the current peace process. I hope that day is not far off. I am all too aware of the many years it has taken to get to this point.”

Apart from their meeting with young people, The Elders plan to meet the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General for Cyprus, Alexander Downer and Head of the UN Mission in Cyprus, Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, political party leaders and representatives of local civil society organisations.

Lakhdar Brahimi

 

Former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi said:

“The leaders, Mr Christofias and Mr Talat, should be commended for the important steps they have taken so far in their discussions to work towards a settlement. We support efforts by other members of the two communities to encourage dialogue. These are essential steps on the path to peace.”

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