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CoR members call for the fall of the "Cyprus wall"

CoR members call for the fall of the "Cyprus wall"

The members of the Committee of the Regions have called for the "fall of the Cyprus wall" at the meeting of the CoR's Commission for External Relations (RELEX), held in Paphos, Cyprus on 15 September on “The contribution of local authorities to the emergence of a multicultural society”.

Christos Paleologos (PES/EL), chairman of the commission, which is part of the CoR, an EU consultative body, deplored the continued division of the island even after EU accession: "Cypriot and EU local authorities cannot accept any demarcation line within the EU itself".

As Fidias Sarikas (PES/CY), mayor of Paphos, pointed out, "the history of Cyprus proves that fruitful coexistence of the communities is possible".

"Local authorities have launched projects aimed at all Cypriots and enabling interaction between the Greek and Turkish communities", declared Ioannis Kasoulides (EPP/CY), an MEP. "Local authorities manage people's everyday lives; they are the key players in the reunification of Cyprus."

Dora Bakoyannis (EPP/EL), mayor of Athens, added: "the Committee of the Regions and local authorities have an important role to play in helping citizens to become more closely involved". She emphasised that EU support was needed to resolve the problem of the division of Cyprus.

In its opinion on Turkey adopted by the plenary session on 6 July, the Committee of the Regions urged Ankara to recognise the Republic of Cyprus before beginning accession negotiations.

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