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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-08-03

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    An official memorial service was held Sunday at Kykkos Monastery, for Archbishop Makarios III in the presence of the President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, ministers, political and church officials.

    Archbishop Makarios III was the Republics first elected president after independence in 1960. He died on August 3, 1977 of a heart attack.

    After the memorial, a sanctum was held at the tomb of Makarios III at Throni, followed by the laying of wreaths.

    President Christofias, House President Marios Garoyian and other officials, laid wreaths.

    In his speech at the official memorial, Minister of Education and Culture Andreas Demetriou praised the work of Makarios and talked about the immense contribution Makarios has made to his country.

    He said Makarios drafted the political path for Cyprus, which will create the preconditions for a reunified, peaceful and independent Cyprus, free of occupation.

    Makarios was born in the village of Panayia, in the Paphos District on August 13, 1913. On 18 September 1950, Makarios was elected Archbishop of Cyprus. In this role, he was not only the official head of the Orthodox Church in Cyprus but also became the Ethnarch, de facto national leader of the Greek Cypriot community.

    On July 15 1974, the Greek regime sponsored a coup d` etat in Nicosia. Makarios fled the Presidential Palace and later on flew out of Cyprus, via the British Bases, first to London and then New York to address the UN Assembly. Five days after the coup, Turkish troops invaded the country.

    Makarios remained in London for five months. He returned to Cyprus and focused on restoring Cypriot territorial integrity. Turkish troops continue to occupy the islands northern areas to this day.

    Makarios III is buried in a tomb in the mountain of Throni, personally chosen while still alive, near Kykkos Monastery, where he served as a novice in the 1920s and 1930s.


    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias enters direct negotiations scheduled to commence September 3, with good will and readiness to work hard and with an aim to achieve an honest and reasonable compromise on the Cyprus issue, Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou has said.

    The Cypriot official was addressing Saturday the funeral ceremony of Christophorou Savva Yiatrou, who was missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus` northern part, and whose remains were recently found in a mass grave in the Turkish-occupied areas and identified by DNA method.

    Greek Cypriots have been missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots since the early 60s when inter-communal fighting broke out. In the recent past, the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus, which is engaged in efforts to establish the fate of those missing, has exhumed and identified the remains of many of those people but information about those, last seen alive in the hands of the Turkish military, is scarce as Ankara refuses to open its archives for investigation.

    The Government Spokesman stressed that a solution to the long-standing Cyprus problem should safeguard the rights and best interests of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

    The achievement of a Cyprus solution that will end Turkish occupation and reunite Cyprus is a debt inherited to us by the struggles and sacrifices of our heroes, Stefanou noted.

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