Greek President in Cyprus, reiterating continuous support
Larnaca, Oct 16 (CNA) -- Greece will continue to support Cyprus in order to achieve the common goal for reunification of the island, free from the presence of any foreign occupation army, Greek President Karolos Papoulias stressed today, during his welcoming ceremony at the Larnaca airport, by Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos.
''I feel honored to be here in Cyprus, a member state of the European Union. I hope and wish that at my next visit here, I will be able to visit the beautiful northern part of the island, when Cyprus would be reunited, free from any foreign occupation army, according to the European system of principles, the international law, and the wishes of all Greek people'', President Papoulias noted.
Greek President, on the island for a four day official visit, was welcomed at the Larnaca airport during a red carpet official ceremony, by Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, who thanked the Greek government and the Greek people for their ''continuous and precious support to the struggle for the ''reunification of Cyprus, through a functional and viable solution, in the framework of the United Nations, based on the European Union principles''.
This is the first official visit of President Papoulias after his election last May, the second of a Greek President in Cyprus.
''We welcome you to Cyprus as a symbol of the firm and unreserved support of Greece to the common struggle for the vindication of the Greek Cypriots. We appreciate your personal interest and worries for the fate of Cyprus, which are expressed through your continuous efforts for the restoration of justice in Cyprus and the protection of the rights of its people'', President Papadopoulos said.
Greek President also noted that since his election as new Greek President, he decided that his first official visit abroad would be in Cyprus, in order to give ''a substancial and symbolic meaning''.
''Substancial because we are faced with serious developments after the EU decision to open accession negotiations with Turkey. We need a continuous and in depth understanding for the promotion of our common goals'', Greek President said.
He added ''symbolic because through my visit I want to give a message of solidarity to the Greek Cypriots. We stand by you, we listen, honor and support you''.
During the official red carpet ceremony, the National Guard band played the national anthem, while Greek President inspected a guard of honour and 12 salutes were fired.
Papoulias will later on visit the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, where he will lay a wreath at the statue of Cyprus' first President, Archbishop Makarios.
Soon after the two leaders will have a private meeting, followed by official talks.
Papadopoulos will decorate Papoulias with the Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III.
The Cypriot President will host a working lunch for Papoulias at the Presidential Palace.