Representatives of Greek and Cypriot organizations abroad, who gathered here today for their annual conference, began their deliberations focusing on two main topics, the state of the economy and developments in UN-led efforts to find a political settlement to reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

Delegates from all over the world also talked about their contribution to the struggle of the people of Cyprus and pledged to continue their support.

President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades opened the two-day meeting.

The Director of the Division of Overseas and Repatriated Cypriots, at the Foreign Ministry Ambassador Marios Ieronymides referred to the responsibility of Cypriot Hellenism around the world to preserve the vision to liberate Cyprus and seek ways to drive Cyprus out of the economic recession.

He commended the efforts Cypriots abroad are making to help their homeland and congratulated them on their successes in their adopted countries.

Kaitie Clerides, Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Affairs of Overseas Cypriots, noted that the presence of overseas Cypriots in Cyprus shows their love for their homeland and their continuous interest in pursuing the common struggle for justice in Cyprus.

“To achieve our goals we must act collectively and unite forces. We need your support also” she stressed.

For the first time, the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus does not feature at the top of the agenda of the meeting, because of the economic crisis, POMAK President Haris Sophoclides noted, adding that Cypriots from abroad have gathered here to exchange views with the Government and the political leadership on the best way to contribute to the recovery of the country’s battered economy.

Philip Christopher, President of the International Coordinating Committee “Justice for Cyprus” (PSEKA), said that although Cyprus is faced with an economic recession it should remain focused on the Cyprus issue.

He urged President Anastasiades to continue building bridges with Israel, the USA and the EU and “stick to the solution that we want”.

He also said that big companies are interested in investing in a European country.

“Cyprus’ struggle is our struggle. We take part in the struggle for economic recovery, we take part in the struggle to end the Turkish occupation, secure the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and settlers from the island and the return of refugees to their homes” said NEPOMAK President Christos Karaolis.

Cyprus, divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third, agreed with international lenders on 10 billon euro aid package under which it closed down the Popular Bank and imposed painful losses on deposits of more than 100,000 euros held at the euro zone state`s biggest lender, Bank of Cyprus. Both institutions were heavily exposed to the Greek debt.

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