Pope on 3-day visit to Cyprus amid Greek criticism of Turkey

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 4, 2010 18:25

 
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PAPHOS, Cyprus — Greek Cypriot leaders made a blistering attack on Turkey for its occupation of northern Cyprus as Pope Benedict XVI began a pilgrimage to the divided island Friday bringing a message of peace to the region.

Addressing Benedict, the head of Cyprus' Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II said that "Turkey has barbarously invaded and conquered by force of arms 37 percent of our homeland."

Chrysostomos said that Turkey "continues to carry out its obscure plans which include the annexation of the land now under military occupation, and then a conquest of the whole of Cyprus."

His comments came as Benedict began a sensitive three-day day visit to Cyprus, an island divided between ethnic Turks and Greeks and viewed by the Vatican as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East.

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