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Cyprus’ Christian, Muslim Leaders Decry Mosque Arson Attempt

 

NICOSIA— Christian and Muslim leaders of ethnically divided Cyprus say a suspected arson attack on a mosque sows discord and undermines peace on the east Mediterranean island.

Greek Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos II and Muslim Mufti Talip Atalay on Monday urged authorities to apprehend the perpetrators of the attack that partially burnt the roof of the recently restored mosque in the village of Denia. The mosque has been targeted in the past.

Chrysostomos called the attack a “reprehensible act of disrespect” that’s uncharacteristic ofCypriots‘ religious tolerance.

The religious leaders have voiced strong support for ongoing reunification talks betweenGreek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. Cypruswas split in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup aiming at union with Greece.

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