Cyprus sends off remains of Greek officers fallen during 1974 Turkish invasion

A ceremony to send off the remains of six Greek officers, fallen during the 1974 Turkish invasion, was held on Thursday, at the Church of Holly Wisdom, in Nicosia, in the presence of the country’s political, military and religious leadership.

The remains of Lieutenant General Georgios Papalambrides, Colonel Constantinos Kourlios, Warrant Officers Pavlos Pavloudis, Vasilios Panayiotou, Constantinos Kateros and Constantinos Elia were handed over to the Greek government in order to be buried in their homeland. The ceremony was officiated by Archbishop Chrysostomos II. A National Guard contingent was also present to honour the remains of the officers when their coffins left the church.

In his speech Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said that we bid farewell to the remains of our Greek brothers whose generosity and love for the country and the nation is not possible to fit into any of the coffins.

Photiou also affirmed the commitment of the Greek Cypriot side in the effort to reunite the country and reach a settlement without occupation troops, without guarantees and without intervention rights, in line with international law, EU principles and UN resolutions. He added that Turkey’s latest provocations and threats will not move us away from this goal.

Greek Deputy Minister of National Defence Alkiviadis Stefanis, who received the remains of the Greek officer to bring them back home, said that Greece has a duty to stand by Cyprus and that the termination of the Turkish occupation of the island continues to be a top priority of Greek foreign policy.

Relatives of the Greek soldiers and the Minister of Defence Savvas Angelides laid wreaths at the ceremony.

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

Source: Cyprus News Agency