By Evie Andreou
PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades will take the salute the customary military parade on Thursday to mark the 55th anniversary of the island’s independence from British colonial rule.
The infantry and motorised units the National Guard will take part in the parade, which will begin at 11am on Iosif Hadjiosif Avenue, Strovolos in Nicosia, as will, the Greek Forces in Cyprus (ELDYK), the police and the fire service. There will also be a 21-gun salute.
Present at the parade, representing the Greek government, will also be the Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, with whom Anastasiades is to have a meeting later in the day.
Prior to the parade, at 10am, Anastasiades will pay a tribute visit to the Imprisoned Graves within the central prisons and half an hour later he will place a wreath on the statue of, Archbishop Makarios III, which is located within the grounds of the Presidential Palace. At 1pm he will host a reception at the Presidential Palace for the diplomatic corps.
House speaker Yannakis Omirou, said in his address to mark the day that on the 55th anniversary of the independence of Cyprus the country’s decisiveness to “struggle until the final vindication” is renewed.
“During the new critical phase, in which the Cyprus issue has entered, it is our duty to defend our principles in the sought solution. A solution that will end the occupation, will remove the settlers, will rid us from guarantors and guarantees, that will ensure the unity of the state, the people, institutions and the economy, and will safeguard human rights, fundamental freedoms and the EU norms,” he said.
On the occasion of the anniversary of Independence of the Republic, Anastasiades received congratulatory messages from heads of state, including the US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Pope, King of Sweden Carl Gustaf, President of Ireland Michael Higgins, Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis, Czech President Milos Zeman, the Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove, President of Algeria Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and the President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas.
Police announced that during the parade the use of drones was strictly prohibited. Media will also subjected to strict security, the palace said.
Meanwhile, main opposition party AKEL, and Turkish Cypriot `United Cyprus Party` (BKP) held a joint event on Tuesday evening in Limassol to celebrate the Independence anniversary.