The new Communist-controlled youth organisation, EDON, opened its first congress October 17 in Nicosia, Cyprus.?
The new Communist-controlled youth organisation, EDON, opened its first congress October 17 in Nicosia, Cyprus. The Organization of Cypriots of both Greek and Turkish origin - until this year's London Agreement in bitter conflict - claim 18000 members during its first six month activity.
EDON leader, Panikos Peonides, called for cooperation among all communities in Cyprus, at a rally attended by 1000 members. Their meeting place, decorated with banners and slogans, often shook with patriotic songs and prolonged cheers.
Overseas delegates included youth leaders from Greece, Israel, a London Cypriot organisation, and Canada. Absent were representatives of the USSR. and Communist China, who were refused entry permits by the Cyprus Government.
Prominent in the rally speeches was the subject of British bases - main topic of talks in London this week between the Governor Sir Hugh Foot and Colonial Secretary Iain Mcleod.
Next day as a climax to the Congress, delegates marched through the streets in national costumes, carrying flags and slogans, to attend an open air rally.
In a speech, Peonides called for a policy of demilitarisation in Cyprus. He said left-wing youth would "even fight with our teeth if necessary to keep the dangers of war away from our island."
If agricultural land in south-east Cyprus were "snatched" for use in British bases, the left wing would rally the youth of all Cyprus and organise peace marches.
In London, observers forecast hard negotiating ahead between the British, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, before agreement is reached on the nature of Britain's future bases on the island. Cyprus is due to become an independent Republic by mid-February.