Cypriot Communist AKEL party Denounces Greek Jets Overfly in Cyprus Independence Parade

Cypriot main opposition, communist AKEL party, has accused President Nicos Anastasiades of militarising the Cyprus problem in the run up to the presidential elections, after two Greek Airforce jets overflew the military parade marking the island’s independence.

Party spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said the presidential elections were very close and the administration was repeating old ways by militarising the Cyprus problem.

On Sunday, a pair of Greek F-16s made two passes over the parade about 16 years after their last appearance. The parade was attended by Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos.

Speaking on state radio earlier on Monday, AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said the arrival of the F-16s was wrong, serving only to win a few more votes for Anastasiades.

Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said it was wrong to claim that the Greek government was involved in the election campaign, arguing that the jets were an indication of the close co-operation with neighbouring countries, more so with Greece.

He also pointed out that Stavros Malas, the presidential candidate supported by AKEL, had welcomed the overflight on Sunday.