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Cyprus celebrates Greek independence
2006-03-27 14:05:53

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 began to free Greece from 400 years of Ottoman occupation.

The centre of celebrations was Nicosia, where Bishop Trimithountos Vasilios led a doxology at Faneromeni Church in the presence of President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, the Greek Ambassador in Nicosia Demetrios Rallis and other dignitaries.

In his reference on the anniversary of the Greek Revolution, President Papadopoulos said ''the struggle of Hellenism for freedom was based on virtue, love, harmony and coordination of all national forces and that is why it succeeded''.

He stressed the need for unity in Cyprus.

In his address during the ceremony Minister of Defence Kyriacos Mavronicolas said that two years after the referendum on the Annan Plan, the Cyprus issue is now in a new phase of mobility.

''The frame of this new procedure has been determined at the meeting of President (Papadopoulos) with UN Secretary General in Paris and has been adopted by the international community'', he said.

He added that the Turkish side has once more proved it is not interested in creating the necessary preconditions for talks to take place.

President Papadopoulos, Bishop Trimithountos, the Greek Ambassador in Nicosia and other officials watched the parade from a special platform outside the Greek Embassy in Nicosia.

Participating in the parade were war veterans, students, scouts, guides, associations and organizations.

In a televised message Greek Ambassador in Nicosia Demetrios Rallis said that Athens and Nicosia remain strongly in line with efforts for a viable Cyprus solution and the islandís reunification.

We expect Turkey to realize the commitments it has undertaken from the EU, he noted.

Doxologies, parades and other celebrations were also held in Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and the free Famagusta district.

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