President Nicos Anastasiades has accused the TRNC coalition of provocation by not permitting the Good Friday mass to be held at the Ayios Georgios Exorinos church in old Famagusta.
“It is not enough to talk about confidence-building measures and, at the same time, take measures that provoke the feelings of Greek Cypriots,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“A simple example is what harm will a mass at Ayios Georgios Exorinos make? It is not enough to say that some others [Turkish government] take decisions that cannot be averted,” he added.
Despite the efforts of the Famagusta Initiative and the “Famagusta is Our City” organisation, the ban of the Good Friday mass at the Famagusta church has remained in effect with the blessing of Akinci.
Since 2014, the coalition has allowed the Greek Orthodox Good Friday mass, which has, in the past, been attended by foreign diplomats, Greek Cypriot political leaders and covered lived by international media to take place at the church, with thousands of Greek Cypriots attending.
The Cyprus negotiation began on Tuesday after and eight week hiatus following the Greek Cypriot parliament’s vote to commemorate ‘Enosis Day’ in secondary schools.