Greece donates olive tree ‘peace’ sculpture to Cyprus

27 July 2016
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Greece’s Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister, Ioannis Amanatides, has stated that “Greece and Cyprus constitute two important stability factors in the wider region.”

Amanatides was speaking after an unveiling ceremony, at the Cyprus Foreign Ministry, of a sculpture, titled ‘Elia’ (olive tree), which was donated by Greece to the Republic.

Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides was also in attendance.

Amanatides expressed his wish that Greece and Cyprus’ joint actions “yield results to the benefit of both peoples, and the wider region as well, where instability prevails.”

The Greek Minister stressed that the sculpture, created by artist Vasilis Karampinis, “is a token of the long-lasting and fraternal bonds that exist between Greece and Cyprus.”
Referring to the sculpture, Kasoulides pointed out that “the olive tree is a blessed Mediterranean tree, which symbolises peace,” adding that the “people of Cyprus are waiting for peace to prevail and the government is making its utmost to achieve this goal.”

Kasoulides added that the sculpture is a symbol “of the common cultural and historical ties that bind both countries, and a reminder of the need for a continuous effort to preserve and further strengthen the social, economic, cultural and political role of Hellenism.”

Kasoulides expressed his appreciation for Amanatides’ support and also to the Greek political leadership and its people, for the island’s “struggle for liberation from the Turkish occupation and for the reunification of Cyprus and its people.”

The Cypriot Minister added: “Greeks of the diaspora play a significant role in preserving our historic and national identity and in the struggle for justice in Cyprus.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 after Turkish troops invaded and illegally occupied 37 per cent of the island. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

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