President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday laid a wreath at the imprisoned graves in Nicosia to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the launch of the Eoka struggle for independence from British rule in 1955.

The main church service led by Archbishop Chrysostomos was carried out at Ayios Ioannis cathedral at the Archbishopic in keeping with coronavirus restrictions and no school parades were held to mark the day. Church services did take place islandwide.

April 1 is “one of the most glorious dates” for Cypriot Hellenism after March 25 – Greek Independence – the President told journalists following the church service.

“It marks a landmark struggle against colonialism and claiming the right to self-determination as established with the founding of the UN and the defeat of Nazism,” he added.

In a written statement, Anastasiades said that apart from paying tribute to those who bravely fought against colonialism, this day should remind us of what can be achieved when fighting together, for a common goal.

Referring to the upcoming informal five-party summit, he continued that history dictates that everyone must assume their responsibilities through diplomacy, dedication to international law and the values and principles of the EU.

“Our goal should be the reunification of the country and the formation of a sustainable, fully independent state, free from dependencies from third parties and free from any troops, so that we can finally live peacefully with our compatriots,” he said.

Political parties also issued statements commemorating the anniversary, with references mainly to the Cyprus problem.