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Politics

Cyprus’ Archbishop Chrysostomos Tells TNH Unity Deal Can’t Happen

November 29, 2016
Theod

His Beatitude Chrysostomos, Archbishop of Cyprus, in an exclusive interview with The National Herald discussed the recent failure of the discussions in Switzerland between the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades with the head of Turkish-Occupied Cyprus Mustafa Akinci. Archbishop Chrysostomos said that, “I wasn’t surprised at all because my position has been the same all the time that they will never reach an agreement because it is Ankara that has the upper hand, not Akinci. I was telling the President that if you agree with the propositions of Ankara, the Cypriot People will reject them.”

Chrysostomos also told Anastasiades “since as a Church we give you strong support on high levels, we want to establish an operating state. I told him that the Turks wanted to divide Cyprus since 1954. Sure enough, 20 years later in 1974 the Turks through the invasion accomplished the division. They even brought more than 300,000 Turks and now they are trying to achieve nation recognition. You cannot grant them nation recognition, you have to put your foot down and refuse. We want to establish a new, modern, European state with values that are present in the rest of the European nations.”

The archbishop said that “I believe that we will not reach the end of the negotiations ever because of the maximalist positions of Turkey” and reminded this has been his position throughout the years.

He said at this point, “negotiations should start from zero, specifically from the invasion.”

He doesn’t believe that Turkish President Erdogan is working toward the annexation of Occupied Cyprus to Turkey, as Turkey hasn’t done that for 42 years. In any case, he said, if that were to happen, it would be a pseudostate.

Regarding the Cypriot-American community, Chrysostomos said they are too quick to agree with whoever runs the Cyprus government, and instead they need to speak up and tell Cyprus’ president “what you are going to do is not right.” He added: “disagreement is not a bad thing, it is a sign of democracy.”

ON TRUMP

The archbishop has high hopes for President-elect Trump. “Actually, I wanted him to win, not Hillary Clinton,” he said. He doesn’t know her personally, “but I had heard enough. Like her husband, she was not going to do anything for Cyprus. I think that Mr. Trump will help America and also the rest of the world. I don’t think Mr. Trump will do what the others did in destroying whole countries in the Middle East and filling them with dead bodies. I don’t think he’ll continue that same policy.”

ON HGC

Chrysostomos recently visited Patriarch Cyril of Moscow for the latter’s 70th birthday. As the Holy and Great Council (HGC) was set to convene in Crete in June, Cyril backed out of attending and influenced three other prelates to do the same.
Though critical of the pullout, Chrysostomos told Cyril during the recent visit “you are mistaken if you think that I have something against you. I wanted the HGC to convene but you didn’t. I am glad it was convened and the texts that were produced were of high spiritual caliber. We were encouraged so in a few years we can have another Synod in which I hope everybody will participate because the third millennium belongs to Orthodoxy.”

Chrysostomos told Cyril “let us go visit all the prelates of the world and tell them that we should unite because the third millennium belongs to Orthodoxy, which should raise its voice. We should speak clearly to our people and to the entire World.”

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