The Conservative Friends of Cyprus welcomed the new year with a reception held at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster with 100 guests and numerous MPs on Tuesday evening.
The reception included the traditional ceremony of the cutting of ‘vasilopita’ (new year) cake. The MPs were joined by the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus Euripides Evriviades, many members of the organisation and of the UK Cypriot community.
Th Rt Hon Theresa Villiers, the Conservative Friends of Cyprus President and host of the event, highlighted the significant role of the Greek Orthodox Church in the UK culture and in education, noting that the first Greek Orthodox secondary school of the UK educational system was established in her Chipping Barnet constituency.
She congratulated the Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Gregorios who in April completes 30 years of pastorate in his current post.
She also urged those present to vote for the Conservative Party candidates in May’s local elections, stressing that several of those candidates are UK Cypriots.
The APPG for Cyprus Chairman Sir Roger Gale thanked people who attended the “splendid” occasion of the Blessing of the Seas ceremony at his constituency’s Margate beach last Sunnday, and also praised His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios.
He expressed his hope and his belief that the Cyprus issue talks can resume soon after the presidential election in Cyprus “so that we can get down to business.” As he added, “there is only one target, the reunification of Cyprus.”
Sir Roger also assured the UK Cypriots that their friends in parliament will continue supporting them as much as they can.
Other Conservative MPs attending were the ‘Conservative Friends of Cyprus’ Parliamentary Chairman Matthew Offord, Sheryll Murray, Sir David Amess, Martin Vickers and former MP David Burrowes, who also committed his continuous support for Cyprus.