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Cyprus to host Interfaith forum
2005-12-01 13:59:47

Barcelona, Nov 28 (CNA) -- In its effort to foster understanding among cultures and religions, Cyprus is hosting the Second ASEM Interfaith Dialogue Forum next year, the first time such a meeting takes place in a European country within the framework of the Asia - Europe Meeting.

The announcement was made by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos while addressing the Euromediterranean Summit, in Barcelona, last week.

The Cypriot President also underlined the need to move from general ideas towards taking concrete measures that would have a positive impact on the citizens of the Mediterranean partner countries.

Referring to the ''immense problem of migration'', he said that due to its geographical position and its membership of the EU, Cyprus has become a place of transit and stay of illegal migrants looking for better living conditions.

He assured delegates that the government is taking all possible measures in the fight against illegal migration, including participation in common actions for the control of the external borders reinforcing security and controls at airports and other ports of entry.

He said that the migration problem requires a comprehensive approach both for the smooth integration of immigrants in the receiving states as well as for assisting the countries of origin to take measures to curb illegal immigration.

''The successful transition of the economies in the Mediterranean basin through reforms and foreign direct investments and the consequent reduction of the economic gap between EU states and the Mediterranean partner -countries can be achieved, through the timely implementation of the Five Year Work Programme adopted by this Summit Meeting'', he added.

Furthermore he stressed the need to find common responses in the fight against terrorism, illegal immigration, organized crime and proliferation of weapons.

Referring to another issue of discussion at the Euromed Summit, namely terrrorism, President Papadopoulos said that the fight against terrorism ranks high in the priorities of the government, which is committed to joining forces with other governments to eliminate terrorism in all its manifestations and forms.

The President also said that dialogue between cultures is a substantial component of the success of the Barcelona Process and expressed the conviction that the initiative "Alliance of Civilizations", would yield results.

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