21 May 1997

Concert in Nicosia (eng)

Gov't lauds calm holding of joint concert in Nicosia

The government yesterday expressed a hope that the aims of the organizers of a joint concert by a Greek and a Turkish singer at a stadium in Nicosia's buffer zone had been attained concerning the need for rapprochement between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

"The concert was held in a civilized and calm atmosphere," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said.

However, he condemned incidents which took place away from the stadium, noting that "in free states, all activities must be able to develop freely."

Police used tear gas to break up groups of young Greek Cypriots in the free part of the Cypriot capital. The youths threw firebombs to protest the concert by Greek and Turkish singers Sakis Rouvas and Burat Kut, respectively.

The concert, organized under the auspices of the United Nations, was held at the Taxim Stadium in the buffer zone, which has divided the island republic since the 1974 Turkish invasion and subsequent occupation of one third of Cyprus.

Athens News Agency, 21/5/1997

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