Cyprus and Armenia are united in condemning the perpetrators of the genocide, said President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades, addressing the ceremony to mark the centennial commemoration of the Medz Yeghem, in Yerevan, Armenia.
The President stressed that it is high time to recognize historical facts as this would pave the way for the normalization of relations with neighboring countries and contribute to world peace.
“Cyprus was the first European country to have recognized the Armenian genocide. It is only natural that Cyprus and Armenia are united in condemning the perpetrators of the genocide. Armenia and Cyprus are both victims of impunity,” the President added.
“It should hence be no surprise that we both put our faith in international law, peace, the respect of the sovereign right of peoples to decide their future and the respect of human rights. These characteristics stem from our interwoven history and the struggles of our peoples who persevered for survival and safety”, he remarked.
President Anastasiades recalled that after the evacuation of Cilicia 100 years ago, Armenian refugee ships, crowded with people devastated by the heinous and relentless persecution and famine, found a safe haven in neighboring Cyprus. “Cypriots are proud of the fact that the children and grandchildren of these refugees constitute today a vivid and important part of Cypriot society, preserving and honoring their worthy origins”, he added.
The President said that it is high time to recognize historical facts as this would pave the way for the normalization of relations with neighboring countries, and would undoubtedly contribute to world peace, noting “our united presence is also a call for an act of consciousness. It is our duty not to turn our back or act in defiance of the tragic reality and a historical fact”.
Remembering the Medz Yeghem and honoring the herculean strength of the Medz Yeghem, survivors who make up the Armenian nation and the prolific Armenian Diaspora of today, is hence a duty of the entire humankind, the President said, concluding “we remember and demand”.
Developments in the Cyprus issue and prospects for the resumption of UN-led talks for a political settlement were among the issues discussed during bilateral meetings President Nicos Anastasiades had in Yerevan, Armenia, with the Presidents of France, Russia, Serbia and Armenia, on the sidelines of events commemorating the Armenian genocide in 1915.
In statements to CNA, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides described President Anastasiades` meetings as very important, especially those with the Presidents of France and Russia, as these two countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council.
“The government evaluates these meetings as very important both for the Cyprus problem and bilateral relations,” he noted.
Christodoulides said that President Anastasiades discussed with the President of France Francois Hollande European issues, economic concerns and particularly Cyprus` economic adjustment programme, which is on track, as well as bilateral relations.
As regards the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said that they discussed developments in the Cyprus problem, the Ukrainian issue, economic matters and bilateral ties.
On Anastasiades meetings with the President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolić and the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, Christodoulides said the agenda included the Cyprus problem and bilateral links.
The immigration problem constitutes a challenge for Cyprus due to the unstable situation in nearby Syria and the fact that part of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus remains under Turkish occupation, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades stressed Thursday in an intervention at the extraordinary European Council in Brussels which discussed immigration flows in the Mediterranean.
Noting that Cyprus is currently under an economic adjustment program by the Troika and thus its economic contribution is limited, the President said that Cyprus is ready to offer any sort of expertise as well as staff to deal with this problem.