Cyprus bids farewell to former President Glafcos Clerides

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Cyprus bid farewell today to former President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides, who died last Friday, aged 94.

The funeral service took place at the Holy Church of God’s Wisdom, in Nicosia.

Crowds had flocked from early in the morning outside the church, including young people belonging to the Youth of the Democratic Rally and the Student Movement Protoporia of the Democratic Rally, DISY, which Clerides founded in 1976.

People welcomed the late former President with applause. His coffin was draped with the Cyprus and the Greek flag. A military procession, under the somber sounds of a band, accompanied the coffin, while people showered Glafcos Clerides with flowers.

Clerides’ coffin was accompanied by President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, his daughter Katie and his longtime friend and associate Pantelis Kouros.

Both before and after the funeral service the crowd sang the national anthem.

The Cyprus President delivered the eulogy at the funeral service which was attended, by the political, religious and military leadership of Cyprus, a high level representation of the political leadership of Greece as well as Glafcos Clerides’ close associates and friends and many foreign dignitaries.

After the funeral service wreaths were laid at the coffin by President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos II, his daughter Katie Clerides, on behalf of Greek President Karolos Papoulias, the Greek Ambassador Vasilis Papaioannou, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić, House President Yiannakis Omirou, Greek House President Evangelos Meimarakis and Israeli Minister of Tourism Uzi Landau.

All parliamentary parties’ leaders, as well as the head of the EOKA fighters association, former Presidents of the Republic Giorgos Vassiliou and Demetris Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas’ family also laid wreaths, paying tribute to Clerides. Rauf Denktash and Glafcos Clerides have often found themselves in opposite camps and for years they were engaged in peace talks.

Hundreds of other wreaths were also laid.

Clerides served as President between 1993 and 2003 and led the Republic into the European Union.