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Pope Francis meets with the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiades on 2 December Pope Francis meets with the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Anastasiades on 2 December  (Vatican Media)

Cyprus President thanks Pope for "historic visit"

Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiadīs awaits Pope Francis' arrival, expressing his certainty that he will have many messages to transmit to those who need them. In an interview with Vatican Radio, he expresses his gratitude for the papal visit.

By Vatican News staff writer

Cypriot President, Nikos Anastasiadīs, who has been in power since 2013, describes the Pope's visit to the nation as a "historic" one.

Speaking to Vatican News' Christine Seuss who is in Cyprus reporting on the visit and to Antonis Skoullos, press coordinator for the papal visit, the President says the Pope's presence  "sends a lot of messages of solidarity to those who are suffering", this includes those who are under "distress", and those who are under occupation.

"This is so important", stresses the President, and so "we thank the Holy Father for his decision to pay such a visit to Cyprus".

Listen to President Nikos Anastasiadīs

Pope Francis is visiting Cyprus 11 years after his predecessor, Benedict XVI. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, with the northern third run by a Turkish Cypriot government, recognized only by Turkey, and the southern two-thirds controlled by the internationally-recognized government led by Greek Cypriots.

Archive photo of Pope Francis receiving President Anastasiades in the Vatican in 2019
Archive photo of Pope Francis receiving President Anastasiades in the Vatican in 2019
02 December 2021, 10:36