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 Press release

The Elders to visit Cyprus to support peace process

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Friday, 26 September, 2008

Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Lakhdar Brahimi urge greater international recognition of recent progress in efforts to reunify the island of Cyprus.

Three members of The Elders will visit Cyprus in early October to lend their support to the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, and to commend Mr Demetris Christofias and Mr Mehmet Ali Talat for their efforts to reunify the island.

The Elders urge the international community to embrace the fact that a lasting settlement is within reach, and to actively support the leaders and the peace process.

Elders Chairman Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US President Jimmy Carter and former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi will travel together to Nicosia on 8-9 October for meetings with the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders.

“After decades of division, this is a time of hope for the people of this beautiful island. These opportunities don’t come around very often,” said Archbishop Tutu. “The Elders will not be involved in the negotiations themselves; that is for the Cypriots to do,” he said.

“However, we will do what we can to ensure that the foresight and courage of Mr Talat and Mr Christofias are acknowledged and supported in Cyprus, in the region and around the world. We also hope to meet political and civil society representatives from both communities, as well as the UN officials facilitating and assisting the process.”

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