On April 2 the RA NA President Galust Sahakyan delivered a speech in the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus. The speech reads:
“Honourable President Omirou, honourable Mr Mahtesian, dear deputies, dear Cypriots,
I would like to express my deep gratitude to the President of the House of Representatives Mr Yiannakis Omirou for the invitation to visit the Republic of Cyprus, as well as for enjoying the honour of delivering a speech in the parliament of the brotherly people and traditional friendly state for Armenia.
I have arrived in a country which has shown its brotherly attitude towards Armenia for centuries. This fact is greatly conditioned by historical commonalities and our almost same destinies.
The friendship of Armenia and Cyprus is anchored not only on rich historical, cultural ties, but also on mutual understanding and mutual confidence established between our peoples, common value systems, mutual respect and affection: the result is the Armenian-Cypriot firm friendship.
The Armenians of Cyprus is one of the oldest and traditional communities of Diaspora, which according to different sources, has begun shaping still in the 12th century. Ordinary words, perhaps, are not able to describe what ordeals the Armenian people have passed through under the reign of the Ottoman Empire. The people of Cyprus know that very well: we had to share that bitter and severe page of history. In a country situated on the Mediterranean Sea shore genocide and forcible deportation were being carried out towards Armenians, and another country situated on the same sea shore received the Armenian emigrants who hardly survived the genocide. Today, those emigrants’ generations have an opportunity to live and create free without hiding their national identity and origin. My compatriots, as citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, are fully integrated to the society of this country, have active participation, as well as constructive role and contribution to the social and political life of Cyprus of their second motherland.
I bow before the Cypriot people for giving asylum, opportunity of new life and new motherland to the Armenian emigrants who could hardly survive the genocide.
Today, I have the honour to take the floor in a parliament, which was one of the first in the world, and the first in Europe to recognize and condemn the Armenian genocide already in 1975, demanding restoration of historical justice. We are friends not only with today’s relations, but also by destiny. Unfortunately, that resemblance is also connected with sad memories and historical injustice.
Your Excellency Mr Omirou, honourable deputies,
As you know, the year 2015 sees the Centennial of the Genocide perpetrated against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. We express our deepest gratitude on the eve of the Armenian Genocide Centennial for the adoption of the resolution criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the House of Representatives of Cyprus.
Dear friends! The adoption of the resolution by you stipulates the distinct “no” towards xenophobia, racism and discrimination that has become a stamp of all-human shame. The genocide is not only a crime against mankind, but also a vivid revelation of fascism and intolerance, a rough violation of right to life. Indeed, the peoples who survived that disaster have special mission in excluding the repetition of such tragedies. One of the most important factors of repetition, prevention of such terrible crime is the recognition and condemnation of crimes already committed against mankind.
The same spirit of mutual confidence and solidarity that has united the Armenian and Greek peoples through centuries should consolidate in recognition, condemnation of the general tragedy - genocide, in restoration of the historical justice, as well as the further prevention of such crimes.
With such conviction on March 24 of this year the RA National Assembly unanimously adopted a statement condemning the genocide perpetrated towards the Pontic Greeks and Assyrians by the Ottoman Empire. The denial of Genocide is the direct continuity of the same crime. We are grateful to His Excellency, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades for his resoluteness of taking part in the ceremonies of the memory to the Armenian Genocide designed in 2015. The presence of the delegation led by distinguished President Anastasiades will be the most evident witness of the selfless devotion to the all-human values of Cyprus, as well as the greatest respect towards the Armenian community who had its firm roots in Cyprus.
Dear friends! The destiny has permanently subjected our two nations to ordeals, continuously making them prove the will and capability of living. The reason of ordeals we had by the destiny is the same country which at the beginning of the 20th century continued the crime committed against Armenians and humanity in 1974, forcibly invading the lands of Cyprus. Armenia has never accepted and will not accept any attempt of splitting the brotherly Cyprus. We, together with you remember about the occupation of other territories by Famagusta and Turkey.
Armenia highly assesses the constructive approach of the Republic of Cyprus aimed at the solution of the Cypriot problem. We are sorry that in response to the reasonable policy of the leadership of the Republic of Cyprus, Turkey adopted very strict deconstructive approach and with its provocative steps damaged the procedure of the last phase directed to the solution of the Cypriot problem. We are well aware of that work style of the Turkish Government and feeling on our skin the difficulties of relating to such a neighbour, we understand you more than ever. Unfortunately, until now Turkey continues to escalate the situation with aggressive actions and threats of applying military force towards Cyprus, destabilizing the whole territory. We condemn the illegal, barbarous, provocative actions and encroachments of the Turkish side in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus. In the problem of Cyprus Armenia has always supported and will support, has backed and will back Cyprus for the re-unification of the brotherly country, restoration of the historical justice, peaceful settlement and fair solution of the problem.
Dear colleagues! The Armenian-Cypriot relations are exemplary with the high level of their mutual understanding and mutual confidence. Due to joint efforts of Armenia and Cyprus our bilateral relations have risen to a qualitatively new level. The Armenian-Cypriot inter-state relations have special content and quality thanks to close historical ties and firm friendship between our countries. Here especially I would like to distinguish the Cypriot Armenians' significant contribution and investment in strengthening of inter-state cooperation.
Dear colleagues! We, considering ourselves bearers of the European values and a part of a European family, are directed with that consciousness in our foreign relations with our neighbours. We try to settle the problems with a dialogue and negotiations. Turkey should realize and appreciate the importance of those same values.
It has already passed six years after signing of the Armenian-Turkish protocols. During all this period Armenia has always shown consecutive position in calling to life the protocols. However, taking into consideration the absence of the political will, the distortions of the protocols and the continuous mentioning of the preconditions by the Turkish authorities, the RA President Serzh Sargsyan made a decision on withdrawing the protocols from the National Assembly. Unfortunately, Ankara with its non-constructive posture failed the efforts of the international community directed to the settlement of the relations between Armenia and Turkey. The challenges of opening the last closed border of Europe, lifting the illegal blockade and establishing diplomatic relations with Armenia still continue remaining before Turkey.
Dear deputies! We live in an extremely hard period full of challenges and ordeals. Though the circumstances are different and permanently changeable, but the resolution of the viability of every state is one: provide the security of its population. In this respect I would like to touch upon the Nagorno Karabakh problem. The format of international mandate of the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is the Minsk Group Co-Chairmanship, and Armenia, on the contrary to Azerbaijan, has permanently been and remains for exclusively peaceful settlement of the problem aimed at the continuation of the negotiations going on by the Co-Chairs’ mediation. This format has no alternative, and this is our position of principle. Sadly, during the last one year Azerbaijan has seriously escalated the situation, permanently violating the ceasefire regime and targeting the civil entities. The adventurous actions of Baku have served as a reason of an unprecedented big number of losses for all sides of the conflict.
Dear colleagues! The cooperation with Cyprus is of special importance for us in the platforms of international structures, where we always feel our Cypriot colleagues' support. With this respect I could not but mention our delegations' exemplary cooperation in the PACE. I would like to especially thank the Cypriot members of the European Parliament, whose activities greatly promote the development of Armenia-European Union relationship.
Dear friends! Today, we are obliged to multiply our efforts and with united positions and mutual support provide fair solution and peace to the problems of vital importance for our two brotherly countries, the problems of Nagorno Karabakh and Cyprus.
Dear friends! The friendly sources between Armenia and Cyprus are ancient, and the bases are firm: I am sure that with common efforts and close cooperation we can provide stable and welfare future of our two brotherly states. I am sure that we together will still build a history of millennia.
Long live Cyprus!
Long live Armenia!
Long live the Armenian-Cypriot centuries-old friendship.”