Cyprus marks Greek National Day with celebrations 

Cyprus marks Greek National Day with celebrations 

Nicosia, March 26, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Kyriacos Kyriacou

Cyprus celebrated on Wednesday the Greek National Day, with religious services and pupils` parades in all major cities throughout the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

Celebrations in the capital, Nicosia, centered around the Panayia Phaneromeni Church, in the old part of the town, where a commemoration service was attended in the morning by the President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, the President of the House Yiannakis Omirou and representatives of political parties, of the military leadership and of the Greek Embassy.

The service to commemorate the begin of the Greek independence struggle, in 1821, was officiated by Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus, while MEP Costas Mavrides has addressed the panegyric of the Day.

Later on, President Anastasiades attended the pupils` parade, in front of the Embassy of Greece, in Nicosia, and afterwards he addressed a reception, hosted by the Greek Embassy to honor the Day.

Similar celebrations were also held in Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and other smaller towns.

Peace talks

Referring to peace talks with the Turkish Cypriot side, Anastasiades said that the reasons for which the Greek Cypriot side has suspended its participation in the  Cyprus talks have not ceased to exist, adding that the resumption of the talks for a Cyprus settlement depends on the stance of the other side.

Asked about a possible announcement by the UN for the resumption of the settlement talks in Cyprus, the President said that the reasons for which the Greek Cypriot side has supended its participation in the negotiating table have not ceased to exist, since the Turkish NAVTEX is still in force, and the Turkish research vessel “Barbaros” is still in the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus.

Therefore, he went on to say, any announcement for resuming the dialogue will depend on the willingness of the other side to restore the status quo ante, prior to violating the international law and the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its Exclusive Economic Zone.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.