Aghios Mamas is celebrated

Greek-Cypriot Orthodox faithful attended an emotional celebration of the patron saint of Morphou at Aghios Mamas church in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus yesterday, the first since the Turkish invasion in 1974. The event, along with a vesper service Wednesday, was meant as a gesture of reconciliation between ethnic Turks and Greeks. «Our saints know how to live together and to unite peaceful and wild animals,» said Bishop Nikiforos who attended the celebration. At the service, the US charge d’affaires, the British, French and Italian ambassadors and Adriaan van der Mier, the EU representative in Nicosia, said they desired to see the island reunified. The smaller vesper service on Wednesday, attended by Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of breakaway northern Cyprus, also passed off peacefully, despite concerns about opposition on the Turkish-Cypriot side. Kypros Chrysostomides, the Cypriot government spokesman, said Mr Talat had taken advantage of the event for political gain.

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