The funeral of former president Demetris Christofias started at 5pm on Tuesday in the presence of his family, President Anastasiades, officials from Greece, and other politicians.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrived earlier, and met with Anastasiades at the presidential palace at 4:30pm.
Tsipras signed the book of condolences that was opened at the presidential palace in Christofias’ memory. He wrote: “Greece honours Demetris Christofias. He leaves behind an indelible imprint of the Republic of Cyprus’ path, and the struggle of its people for social justice and reform. His memory will forever live in our common goal for the reunification of Cyprus and its people based on a just and viable solution.”
Anastasiades signed the book on Monday along with other officials. He wrote: “It is with great grief that we bid farewell to former President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and honor his contribution to his country, Cyprus, in his capacity as a Member of Parliament, President of the House of Representatives and President of the Republic.”
Leaders and representatives of political parties also signed the book of condolences, underlining in their statements the dedication of Christofias to Cyprus and its people. Government officials, ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps, as well as former dignitaries also signed the book.
The funeral is being held at Ayia Sophia Church in Strovolos. Earlier, the former president’s casket was taken for public viewing at the PEO union building in Nicosia.
Christofias, 72, died last Friday after a short illness. He was the sixth president of Cyprus and served in office from 2008 to 2013.