Saturday, 6 September 2008

call for justice

Senator Joe Biden has called for the full withdrawal of Turkish troops from Northern Cyprus, the Kathimerini reports.

Barack Obama's running mate said the continued Turkish occupation of the island was an "anomaly".

The bold statement is bound to please Greek-American and Cypriot-American voters, numbering 1.2 million in a 2001 census, and throw a cat amongst the pigeons in the murky waters of Turkish-NATO relations.

While John McCain fobbed off a reporter in June as to why he did not sign a letter, along with 73 other senators (including Obama), urging President Bush to publicly support the religious freedom of minority Greeks living in Constantinople, the Democrats have stuck their necks out.

Obama's stance on abortion is problematic for Catholics, but in the Greek Orthodox-Islamic scenario, who is closer to Rome?

This week in Rome, the Holy Father received a programme from the Community of Sant'Egidio organised in conjunction with the Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostom II, to hold an event titled "The Civilisation of Peace: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue" in Cyprus this November. The community holds the event annually to keep alive the spirit of the World Day of Prayer called by Pope John Paul II. Last year's event in Naples was attended by Benedict XVI.

[Image of Cypriot prisoner of war: fortunecity]
[Map of Cyprus: Commonwealth Secretariat]

1 comment:

Mark said...

I have a major problem with Obama and Biden on a number of issues, most obviously abortion, but Joe Biden is spot-on as far as Cyprus is concerned.

The Patriarch of Constantinople is arguably Pope Benedict's closest and bravest ally in the Orthodox Church (to the extent that his support for B16 has, I would guess, incurred a good deal opprobrium for him among the Monks of Athos), so it's right for Catholics to rally in his support, and encouraging to hear that there are American politicians who are coming out in support of Constantinople's beleagured Greek population.

I don't understand why John McCain didn't want to sign that letter. I know that some Tory MPs in the UK are (inexplicably, to my mind) very pro-Turkish and even pro-Turkish Cypriot. Maybe it's the same with some Republicans.

Anyway, thanks for an intriguing post.