Bicommunal Contacts

The Cyprus Government is in favour of and encourages bicommunal contacts, which show that the two communities can co-exist in peace, in a united Cyprus, as in the past.

These contacts have taken place in both the free and the occupied areas of the island, and in the buffer zone as well as abroad. In some cases, countries and international organizations interested in becoming more actively involved in the efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem promote bicommunal contacts. As a rule, however, these contacts originate from Cypriots, usually members of professional or political organizations, or even by ordinary people who seek contact with their fellow villagers.

However, from the beginning of the crisis of 1963 – 1964 Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership encouraged the Turkish Cypriots to move into enclaves and attempted to prohibit any contacts between them and the Greek Cypriots. With the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the forcible division of the island, contacts between the two communities were rendered very difficult in view of the partitionist policy of the Turkish side.

The Turkish occupation regime has consistently opposed contacts between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and, in many cases has prohibited them arbitrarily.

The U.N. Secretary-General has referred to the importance attached to bicommunal events and the Security Council in its resolutions on Cyprus has, inter alia, regretted the obstacles, which have been placed in the way of such contacts and strongly urged the Turkish Cypriot Community leadership to lift all obstacles to such contacts.

In accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions 541(1983) and 550 (1984) bicommunal contacts do not include contacts with settlers who have colonized the occupied part of Cyprus or with “officials” or “institutions” of the so-called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.

This article comes from Cyprus Embassy
http://www.cyprusembassy.net

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