President Spyros Kyprianou has declared he wants to do everything he can to warm up Cyprus's relations with all countries with which "our relations have been disturbed".
President Spyros Kyprianou has declared he wants to do everything he can to warm up Cyprus's relations with all countries with which "our relations have been disturbed". He announced this in a speech to the House of Representatives in Nicosia on Tuesday (28 February) immediately after being sworn in for a five-year term as president. Observers interpreted his remarks as holding out an olive branch towards Egypt only a week after their diplomatic ties were ruptured.
SYNOPSIS: The president enters parliament building for his investiture. He held the post of caretaker president between the death of Archbishop Makarios last August and his appointment as president late in January. Mr Kyprianou, is only the second officially-appointed president since Cyprus became independent in 1960.
His wife and sons were present for the ceremony.
Mr Kyprianou, who is 45, was elected unopposed in the presidential elections in January. He took the oath of office at a troubled time, It was only a few days after Cyprus and Egypt withdrew their ambassadors to each other's country in the aftermath of the Larnaca airport battle, in which 15 Egyptian commandos died in a bid to rescue hostages aboard a commandeered Cypriot airliner. The previous day, the hijackers had allegedly shot dead a leading Cairo newspaper editor, Youssef Sibai, who had been a close friend of Egypt's President Anwar Sadat.
The guests at the investiture keenly applauded Mr Kyprianou's call for firm effort in facing what he called for Cyprus 'the most critical moments in its history'. Later, when the president spoke of foreign relations, he stressed that Cyprus, although a small country, although a small country, would never hesitate to defend her sovereign rights 'as we have proved recently'. Cyprus, he said, had a great and proud people fighting hard for their survival and freedom.