Greek Cypriots lay former President Clerides to rest
NICOSIA - Agence France-Presse
Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades (R) pays his respects to Clerides. REUTERS photoGreek Cypriots bade farewell to former two-time President Glafcos Clerides, who was laid to rest Nov. 19 with an official ceremony.
Hundreds turned out for his state funeral in Nicosia, including Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Serbia President Tomislav Nikolic. The day of the funeral was declared a public holiday. Clerides died aged 94 on Nov. 15, two days after being admitted to a clinic in what his doctor said was a “very grave condition” aggravated by serious illnesses in the past few years and his advanced years. On Nov. 17, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement expressing its sadness over the death of Clerides. And to underline the respect for Clerides’ reconciliation credentials, former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat also attended the funeral. Despite his own support for reunification efforts, Cyprus entered the EU a divided island after Greek Cypriots voted in a 2004 referendum to reject a U.N. plan that would have reintegrated the Turkish Cypriots.