The annual national conference of The Federation of Cypriot Communities of Australia and New Zealand (PASEKA) was held for the first time in Darwin last weekend. Vice president of the Cypriot Community of Melbourne and Victoria, Theo Krambis, said the Northern Territory’s Cypriot community extended incredible hospitality at the event. “It was an incredible experience, they were so warm,” Mr Krambis told Neos Kosmos.

The opening ceremony was hosted at Parliament house with Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson as a guest speaker. Around two to three delegates from each state and territory of Australia and New Zealand were in attendance, with about 25 delegates attending the weekend event.

One of the issues addressed at the conference included new passports for Cyprus; under new biometric security measures passport applicants will now need to physically attend the embassy in Canberra in order to apply for passports and can no longer do this by post. However the consulate is currently negotiating with the Cypriot government to find alternative solutions, Mr Krambis said.

The conference focused on national issues, the Cyprus issue. Other items on the agenda included youth affairs. The main issue on the agenda, however, was the pending visit of President of Cyprus, Dimitris Christofias. President Christofias will visit Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra later this month.

He is expected to arrive on Wednesday May 25 and depart on Monday May 30, Mr Krambis said. President Christofias will attend a state luncheon in Victoria and there will also be an open speech to all members of the wider community on Friday May 27, between 6:30pm and 7:30pm, at the headquarters of the Cypriot Community of Melbourne and Victoria, at 495 Lygon St, Brunswick. President Christofias’ wife Elsie will visit the aged care facility of the Cyprus Community Northern Suburbs, located at 195 McDonalds Rd, Epping on Friday May 27 at 3:30pm.

There is an open invitation extended to members of the community to attend. On Saturday May 28, President Christofias will plant olive trees at the Cypriot community of Sunshine, and will also attend a press conference that same day. The president and his wife will fly to Sydney on May 28 where they will meet with members and organisations of the Cypriot community of NSW and His Eminence

 Archbishop Stylianos Harkianakis. They will leave Australia the next day. Mr Christofias will be accompanied by the High Commissioner of Cyprus in Australia Yiannis Iakovou.

Source: Neos Kosmos

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