Cyprus racist attacks condenmed
As the two Cypriot leaders condemned last week’s attacks on Turkish Cypriots in their cars, after their meeting on Wednesday, police announced that arrest warrants had been issued against fifteen students believed to have been involved in the attacks during a right wing student protest on the anniversary of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in the north (UDI). All fifteen have been arrested and have been charged for several serious offences.
The incidents had occurred last week when students attacked three cars with Turkish Cypriot plates on three different occasions, which led to the injury of two Turkish Cypriots. The three cars were also damaged. Reports said members of far right group ELAM were involved in the incidents, but ELAM blames another right wing group.
President Nicos Anastasiades announced on Wednesday following his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci that the government would compensate owners of the vehicles.
The two leaders in a joint statement condemned "in the strongest terms the shameful incidents …during which Turkish Cypriots were targeted," the statement said.
"The leaders stand together against racism and hatred, whatever the source. They jointly affirm that such deplorable acts will be thoroughly investigated and will not go unpunished," it added.
"The two leaders will not allow such unacceptable incidents to jeopardise the ongoing negotiations in any way, in particular at the very time they are trying in earnest to find a solution to the Cyprus problem," it said.
On his return to the presidential palace, Anastasiades said his meeting with Akinci had been constructive "and I hope it will continue this way".
Asked whether the property issue was the focus of the meeting, he said: "yes, but other relevant issues were also discussed."