Pope Benedict XVI Calls on EU to Restore Justice in Cyprus

2/27/2006 3:48:40 PM

Vatican City, Feb 22 - The EU should, if it believes in the principles it declares, become active and restore justice in Cyprus, Pope Benedict XVI was quoted by the President Christofias of the Cypriot House of Representatives as saying.

The Pope, who had received Mr. Christofias on Wednesday, called on the EU to become energetic to restore justice in Cyprus, harmonize the anomalous situation and become a bridge for cultures and religions.

Christofias noted that the Pope was informed on the ongoing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus by Turkey and on the looting of cultural treasures in the Turkish-occupied areas as well as the systematic pillage of the Christian Churches there.

It should be noted that Turkey invaded the island of Cyprus twice in July and August 1974. The United Nations and the international community have repeatedly condemned Turkey's aggression against Cyprus and called for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from the northern part of Cyprus, where Turkey maintains more than 40.000 troops. The continuing looting and of Cyprus ethnic and Christian heritage has drawn the particular attention of the international civil and religious community.