Pope Francis on Thursday expressed his support to efforts aiming towards the reunification of Cyprus, divided since a 1974 Turkish invasion.
Addressing the annual ceremony for the exchange of New Year greetings with the diplomatic corps accredited to the Vatican, the Pope stressed the importance of dialogue and respect of international law for the resolution of “frozen conflicts” that persist in Europe.
“Some are decades-old and need resolution, starting from the situation regarding the Western Balkans and south Caucasus and Georgia.
“In the same context, I would like to express the Holy See’s support to the negotiations for the reunification of Cyprus, which could increase regional cooperation, favouring stability in the Mediterranean region,” he said, according to an official press release.
He also expressed his appreciation over efforts made for the resolution of the conflict in the eastern part of Ukraine and the ending of the population’s suffering.
Expressing wishes for the New Year, the Pope thanked, particularly, Ambassador of Cyprus Georgios Pavlides and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps for his cordial greetings expressed on behalf of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. Pavlides has been the Dean of the diplomatic corps since May 2018.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
Many rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.