A military parade was held on Tuesday in Nicosia to commemorate the 59th anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus’ independence.
President Nicos Anastasiades, the country’s political leadership and foreign dignitaries, attended the event where the Serbian-made artillery system NORA, that was acquired recently by the National Guard, was presented for the first time during the parade.
The event started with a 21-gun salute and the raising of the Cyprus flag. Many people, including families with children carrying flags, gathered early on Tuesday morning in Iosif Hadjiosif Avenue, to see President Anastasiades take the salute, along with Defence Minister Savvas Angelides, Greek National Defence Minister Nikos Papagiotopoulos and the Chief of the National Guard General Staff, Lt. General Ilias Leontaris. Serbia’s Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin also attended the event.
Speaking through an interpreter, Serbia’s Defence Minister said that the two people are united through their values, and above all the value of freedom
Speaking after the parade Defence Minister Savvas Angelides said that the National Guard was being upgraded. He thanked moreover his Greek counterpart for Athens’ constant support, as well as Serbia’s Defence Minister for their practical cooperation, as witnessed with the newly-acquired artillery system.
With its new military equipment and through hard work, the National Guard aims at upgrading its capacity and raising the spirits, the Minister added. He commemorated those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom and for the country’s independence.
Conveying a message on behalf of the Premier of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek government and the Greek people, Greek National Defence Minister Panagiotopoulos said that Athens stands by Cyprus as the two fight for their common vision of a “unified, independent, sovereign Republic of Cyprus, free and proud, without occupation troops” which is supported by international law and UN resolutions, and not suffering from “illegal and barbarian behaviours.”
The Greek National Defence Minister also said that the deterrent force of the armed forces in Greece and Cyprus remains strong.
Taking the floor, Vulin said that the Republic of Serbia and Serbian people wholeheartedly support the territorial integrity and independence of the Republic of Cyprus.
Speaking through an interpreter, Serbia’s Defence Minister said that the two people are united through their values, and above all the value of freedom.
He said finally that Belgrade stood by the Republic of Cyprus in its most difficult days, while Cyprus was next to Serbia in the dark days of the NATO bombing campaign. Vulin also thanked Nicosia for supporting Belgrade’s effort to save Kosovo.
Greek Cypriots in the Republic of Cyprus celebrate independence on October 1, several weeks after the official day of August 16 when the nation gained independence from the United Kingdom.