President Nicos Anastasiades has expressed the state’s pride for the contribution of the Armenian community in the political, social, and economic life of the island, Cyprus Mail reported.
Anastasiades, who was addressing an event in honour of the Armenians of Cyprus, recalled that both peoples have fallen victim historically to the same aggressor, noting that they did not give up but fought and are continuing to fight for the great principle of justice in order to prevail on the international scene.
“This is why Cyprus was one of the first European countries to recognise the Armenian genocide and we have jointly condemned the perpetrators of this crime,” he said.
Referring to the Armenian community in Cyprus, he said that “as a state, we will always show off proudly the fact that your small community manages with its vigour to be present in all aspects of our country’s life – political, social and economic.”
Anastasiades also spoke of his vision for a free and reunified Cyprus, which will be inhabited in peace and prosperity by all Cypriot citizens: Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins.
“We aim to put an end to the occupation and we insist on working towards a just, viable and functional solution, which will not allow for a dependence on any third country,” he stressed.
To that extent, he referred to the efforts over the summer in the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem.
“It is true that the outcome disappointed us but there was no other alternative,” he pointed out.
According to Anastasiades, Turkey’s persistence in retaining anachronistic treaty of guarantee, intervention rights and a presence of Turkish troops did not allow for anything other than a rejection of these positions.
He said that he has conveyed a message to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres that he is ready to return to the negotiating table on the internal aspects of the problem.
On the international aspect, he said he has “made it clear to the UN SG, our European partners and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council that a new conference on Cyprus should be well prepared so that it does not lead to disappointment.
“What we seek is mutual respect and political will from both our Turkish Cypriot compatriots and Ankara, because human rights and security are not negotiable,” he stressed.
The Armenian Representative Mr. Mahdessian, on behalf of the Armenian Community of Cyprus, expressed words of gratitude to the government of Cyprus, for catering for all the needs of the community, thus strengthening and safeguarding the preservation of the rich Armenian culture, language and religious identity.
His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia also addressed the event and decorated the President of the Republic of Cyprus with the “Prince of Cilicia” medal.
Afterwards a cultural programme took place, with the participation of both Sourp Asdvadzadzin Cathedral choirs, as well as the Hamazkayin “Sipan” and the “Nanor” dance groups, followed by a reception.
Photos from Vartkes Mahdessian’s Facebook page