Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain arrived in Cyprus on Friday evening from the United Kingdom, to attend the funeral of Archbishop Chrysostomos II to be held on Saturday.

Archbishop Nikitas was welcomed at Larnaca Airport by Kiti Bishop Nektarios on behalf of the Church of Cyprus. Also present was Pantelis Demosthenous, Archbishop Nikitas’ adviser.

“I’m very sad. When I saw him we talked and discussed by ourselves. He told me a few things and I gave him my word that I will support the rights of both the Church of Cyprus and the people of Cyprus,” Archbishop Nikitas told Cybc’s Larnaca correspondent.

“I told him ‘I hope the next time I’m here we can work in a free and united Cyprus’, but unfortunately I came for other things. It’s an honour for me that the Ecumenical Patriarchate contacted me to accompany the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to be together. Unfortunately, however, in the funeral service for the Blessed Archbishop”.

Asked for his opinion of Chrysostomos, the man, Archbishop Nikitas said: “Again, his fatherly love and the smile he had. But he spoke to me as if I were his child. But the other thing I liked is that whatever he had to say he said it. That’s how people should be, right? And he was a a proper honest, true but also humble leader, but unfortunately we lost him”.

Earlier in the day, the religious leaders from all of Cyprus denominations and faiths went to the archbishopric to sign a book of condolences opened for Chrysostomos II. None made any statements to the media.

The archbishop will be buried under the Apostolos Varnava church, as he wished.