As part of the campaign by the National Federation of Cypriots in the U.K. to plant olive trees to mark 50 years since Turkey’s occupation of the northern third of Cyprus, Twelve Apostles Church planted an olive tree with Guests of Honour the Secretary of State for Defence, Grant Shapps and the Cyprus High Commissioner on Friday 28 June.

Speaking after the planting Mr Shapps said “I’m sad that we are having to plant this tree. It’s been 50 years and it’s been too long. It’s to commemorate a wrong that we know needs to be resolved. We are fully backing the process, including the new UN Envoy who is trying to get things moving and to get a resolution, to what has been going on for far too long”
The High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus, Kyriacos Kouros said “We are here today to mark this tragic anniversary and also to demonstrate our resolve to reunite Cyprus. We are looking forward to, whichever British Government is elected after the General Election, supporting the determined efforts of President Christodoulides to reach a solution, based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, as outlined in relevant in UN Security Council Resolutions, and based on the EU acuis.
The Federation’s President, Christos Karaolis, said “We are very grateful to Twelve Apostles Church and the Defence Secretary for supporting our olive tree planting campaign. These trees not only raise awareness about the ongoing injustice of the 50-year long occupation, but also highlight our sustained commitment to reuniting Cyprus and its people”
Twelve Apostles Church was represented by, amongst others, the Priest-In-Charge Father Joseph Paliouras and Chairman Louis Loizou. Members of the Federation’s Secretariat, Presidents of Community Associations and parishioners also joined for the planting of the olive tree. Also in attendance was Theocharis Onoufriou, Defence Attache at the Cyprus High Commission.