Cyprus President awarded with the Order of Saint Sava

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades met Thursday evening with the Patriarch of Serbia, Irinej, who presented him with the highest honorary distinction of the Patriarchate.

According to a Presidency announcement, during the meeting, the President was awarded with the Order of St. Sava, founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Patriarch said that Cyprus and Serbia were linked by historical ties, adding that both peoples had suffered. He also thanked the President for the principled position of Cyprus Republic regarding Kosovo and pointed out the problems Serbia is faced with.

He also said that the Church of Serbia had very close relations with the Church of Cyprus and the Archbishop of Cyprus.

For his part, President Anastasiades said that the distinction was also an honour to the Republic of Cyprus and the people of Cyprus.

He also pointed out that the Greek Cypriots had similar feelings with the Serbs in Kosovo, because of the Turkish occupations of the Northern part of the island and the lack of respect of the conquerors for the Christian religion.

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

He also assured that the Republic of Cyprus had the historic duty to support the Republic of Serbia by not recognising Kosovos illegal status and by supporting the country both in the UN and the EU.

He also noted that next week Cyprus would have the opportunity to demonstrate in practice its respect for international law at the EU-Western Balkans Summit.

” And we have already succeeded in making the declaration to be a declaration of the 28 Member States and not the 28 plus six Balkan countries, because something like that would indirectly recognise the illegal status of Kosovo,” he said.

The President visited the Church of St Sava in Belgrade.

Source: Cyprus News Agency