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Celebrations in Cyprus for Greek Independence
2005-03-28 11:46:28

Nicosia, Mar 25 (CNA) - Cyprus held today liturgies and celebrations, including parades, in all free areas of the Republic, to commemorate the 25th of March 1821, when the Greek armed revolution officially started aiming to free Greece from 400 years of Ottoman occupation.

The centre of the celebrations was Nicosia, where Salamis Bishop Varnavas led a doxology at Saint Ioannis Church in the presence of Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, the Greek Ambassador in Nicosia Christos Panagopoulos and other officials.

In his reference on the anniversary of the Greek Revolution, President Papadopoulos said this day ''is the source of hope and pride to the metropolitan Hellenism, but also to the Hellenism abroad and is giving us a lesson that Liberty is earned with struggle''.

Responding to questions regards Turkey's obligation to sign the Protocol to expand its Customs Union to the ten new member states of the EU including the Republic of Cyprus, President Papadopoulos said ''it is not useful, but rather dangerous to reproduce the messages of the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullah Gull.''

In his address at Saint Ioannis Cathedral, Greek Ambassador in Nicosia Christos Panagopoulos said the contribution of the Greek Cypriots to the Greek Revolution was significant.

''Cyprus responded immediately and dynamically'', Panagopoulos said, adding ''the fate of Cyprus was always related to the fate of the Hellenism as a whole''.

Panagopoulos said that the solution of the Cyprus problem should be ''the result of mature and essential talks between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, without arbitration and strict timetables''.

''The division is not an option for us,'' he continued, stressing ''we are looking forward in the reunification of the island within the frames of the European Union''.

President Papadopoulos, Bishop Varnavas, the Greek Ambassador in Nicosia and other officials watched also the parade veterans, students, scouts, guides, associations and organisations from a special platform outside the Greek Embassy in Nicosia.

Doxologies, parades and other celebrations were also held in Limassol, Larnaka, Paphos, Polis Chrysochous and the free areas of Ammohostos.

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