Only through peace we can hope for better days, said President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades.


In statements to the press, following a military parade in Nicosia to mark the 56th anniversary of Cyprus` independence, President Anastasiades said the message the day conveys is that we should be armed with courage and find the way to peace.


President Anastasiades congratulated the National Guard and its leadership for the excellent performance of the Armed Forces in the parade and also the sense of pride it conveyed.


The President also expressed wishes to both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots over today`s Independence Day.


He said that “what is needed is to focus our attention not on defence planning or armaments but to be armed with pride to find the target and the road to peace”.


President Anastasiades said that through change, conditions will ensue that will allow the people to live in a modern state, fully respecting the principles and values of the EU and the UN, without the burden of the past.


Only through peace we can hope for better days. I once again extend my wishes and hope for the best for the people of Cyprus”, he added.


Greek National Defence Minister Panos Kammenos represented the Greek government at the celebrations.


Earlier the President visited the Imprisoned Graves, where he laid a wreath in honor of the 13 fighters of the 1955-1959 liberation struggle (EOKA) against the British rule, who are buried there.


He also laid a wreath to the statue of Archbishop Makarios III, the first President of the Republic of Cyprus, at the Presidential Palace.


Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed talks, aiming to reunite the island under a federal roof, resumed on May 15 last year.

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