Newsroom / CNA
The government is working on and will soon will announce incentive plans for new families and young couples to resettle in the occupied Maronite villages, President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides said on Sunday, stressing that he and the Government recognize the efforts and struggle of the Maronite community of Cyprus.
President Christodoulides, in his greeting at the solemn celebration of Saint Maron, patron and founder of the Maronite Church at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Graces in Nicosia, initially said that it was a special honor for him to attend for the first time as President of the Republic the celebrations to honor Saint Maron and requested his presence to be interpreted as a sign of appreciation and honor towards the Maronite community.
"The community for which we feel particularly proud not only for your multi-level action, your decisive contribution to the history of the place, but also for me what particularly distinguishes the Maronite community is the fact that this year marks 50 years since the Turkish invasion, 50 years of continuous occupation", he said, noting that the Maronite community and its four villages are under Turkish occupation.
Despite this fact, he continued, "your struggles, your efforts are daily and we must recognize that these efforts and struggles bear results."
President Christodoulides said that he was blessed to visit the occupied villages and personally witnessed the struggle, the effort in difficult conditions, of all Maronites living in Kormakitis and Karpasia.
He announced that the government is working on, and the Council of Ministers will soon make announcements regarding plans for the resettlement in the occupied villages with more incentives for new families and young couples.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.