‘Conservative Friends of Cyprus’ express hope for a united Cyprus at a ceremony at the UK Parliament

The ‘Conservative Friends of Cyprus’ organisation welcomed the new year with wishes for a united Cyprus as members of the organisation and other dignitaries attended the traditional cutting of vasilopita (new years cake) event at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster on Tuesday evening.

The traditional ceremony, officiated by Archimandrite Theophanis, saw several Conservative MPs attending, as well as the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus Euripides Evriviades, many members of the organisation and of the UK Cypriot community.

Theresa Villiers, the Conservative Friends of Cyprus President and host of the event, highlighted the significant role of the Greek Orthodox Church in the UK culture and in education, noting that the first Greek Orthodox secondary school of the UK educational system was established in her Chipping Barnet constituency.

She congratulated the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Gregorios who in April completes 30 years of pastorate in his current post.

She also urged those present to vote for the Conservative Party candidates in May’s local elections, stressing that several of those candidates are UK Cypriots.

The APPG for Cyprus Chairman Sir Roger Gale thanked people who attended the splendid occasion of the Blessing of the Seas ceremony at his constituency’s Margate beach last Sunday, and also praised His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios.

He expressed his hope and his belief that the Cyprus issue talks can resume soon after the presidential election in Cyprus so that we can get down to business. As he added, there is only one target, the reunification of Cyprus.

Sir Roger also assured the UK Cypriots that their friends in parliament will continue supporting them as much as they can.

Other Conservative MPs attending were the ‘Conservative Friends of Cyprus’ Parliamentary Chairman Matthew Offord, Sheryll Murray, Sir David Amess, Martin Vickers and former MP David Burrowes, who also committed his continuous support for Cyprus.

The Cypriot High Commissioner Evriviades gave his wishes for a prosperous 2018 and for a year that will finally see Cyprus reunified, thanked the Conservative MPs who have proven to be friends of Cyprus even when the sun is not shining, praised the work of the ‘Conservative Friends of Cyprus’ and expressed his hope that next year’s vasilopita event could be held at Downing Street as it is beautiful that traditions like this have become part of the multicultural UK.

The head of the ‘Conservative Friends of Cyprus’ Jason Charalambous thanked all the MPs, the people behind the event and the attendees.

The UK Cypriots that gathered at the Houses of Parliament sang the traditional Greek carols. The lucky coin hidden in the vasilopita ended up in the High Commissioner’s piece of the traditional New Year’s cake.

Source: Cyprus News Agency