27 February 2014 18:20

Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political parties on Wednesday called for an end to the ongoing devastating quarrying activities on occupied Pentadaktylos mountain range.

At the end of a bi-communal meeting in Nicosia under the auspices of the Slovak embassy, a joint statement also asked the European Union to play a more active role based on its environmental legislation.
"The political parties agreed that all citizens of Cyprus should safeguard and respect the natural environment of the island and that immediate attention, regulation and action must be taken to halt the devastation that current quarrying activities have on the Pentadaktylos Mountain range," the joint statement said.
"The political parties also call upon the European Union to play a more active role based on the environmental EU legislation, for the halting of the degradation of the environment and its restoration," it added.
The participants at the Ledra Palace meeting also noted that mutual respect for the divided island's common natural heritage will greatly facilitate the transformation of the island into a common home of peace and prosperity.
And it will also safeguard the island's natural resources for generations to come.
In addition, the politicians agreed on a proposal that the protection of Cyprus' common environmental heritage must be discussed in the confidence building measures between the two sides.
Stalled UN-brokered Cyprus peace talks resumed on February 11 after the two community leaders agreed on a joint communiqué highlighting the key principles of a federated Cyprus.   
Moreover, the politicians expressed their support and solidarity towards Murat Kanatli, the Secretary of the New Cyprus Party, "who has been imprisoned for his political beliefs".
"We ask for his immediate liberation. Conscientious objection is a human right, that should be respected and implemented," added the statement.
Kanatli was jailed for 10 days this week by the military 'court' in the breakaway regime in the north over his refusal to carry out reservist duties.
From the Greek Cypriot side, taking part in yesterday's meeting were leaders or representatives of Opposition Akel, the Green party, centre coalition partner Diko, ruling Disy, socialist Edek, United Democrats and Epalxis.
And from the Turkish Cypriot side, the National Unity Party, New Cyprus Party, Republican Turkish Party, Social Democratic Party and the United Cyprus Party.
Their next meeting is set for March 26.


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