United Nations.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis
Cyprus has aligned itself with European, international and regional partners in the collective effort to respond to current challenges, Government Spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides, has said in his address at the Security Council Open Debate on “The victims of attacks and abuses on ethnic or religious ground in the Middle East.”
He also said that states have a duty towards humanity to adopt a more proactive political involvement, so as to save future generations from the plague of bare hatred.
Referring to the cultural richness of the Middle East, he said this part of the world is the birth place of great civilizations and religions, and an area of spiritual fermentation and fertilization. “This mosaic has been the product of thousands of years of coexistence and conflict in an area that had always been the bone of contention between regional and international powers,” he noted.
Today, he said, the Middle East is experiencing tremendous turmoil which calls of reflection upon the roots of this unrest.
“These times demand courageous measures by all States individually, as well by the international community collectively. All that we are witnessing in the wider region of the Middle East, particularly following the emergence of ISIS/Daech and the perpetration of its untold atrocities cannot leave us indifferent or passive,” Christodoulides stressed.
Noting that the Syrian conflict enters its fifth year, and incomprehensible violence caused by ISIL/Da`esh and other terrorist groups, as well as the different militias create a huge humanitarian crisis, the Spokesman said that it is vital that “the international community sends clear and strong messages condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the organizers, financiers and sponsors of acts of terrorism.”
In his address, the Government Spokesman referred to the situation in Iraq and the recent horrific and brutal acts of terrorism in Libya.
The problem of religious persecution, he remarked. is most pronounced in parts of the Middle East in the current turbulent times, and especially in places where conflict is raging and extremist terrorist groups are active.
“A resolute stance for the principle of religious freedom everywhere is extremely important. Religious belief is fundamental to many human identities. Freedom of faith must be defended, irrespective of whether the attacks come from totalitarian atheist regimes or theocracies. For the faithful, what they believe about God is inseparable from what they understand about human beings. But God’s rights must never be allowed to trample on human rights,” he stressed.
Nicosia, he said, aligns itself with European, International and regional partners in the collective effort to respond to the current challenges.
“Cyprus is contributing decisively in the international effort to destroy the Syrian chemical weapons. We have aligned ourselves with the international coalition against terrorism and we have been active in promoting actions aiming at protecting the ancient communities and the religious and ethnic minorities of the Middle East. Our long tradition as a constructive and stabilizing factor in the region is acknowledged by all,” he said.
Concluding he said, that “it is our duty towards humanity and our shared values to steadfastly adopt a more proactive political involvement, so as to save future generations from the plague of bare hatred. For us, it is also a historical responsibility towards our ancestors and the beloved waters of our homelands.”