NICOSIA–President Demetris Christofias has unveiled a memorial for the Armenian genocide, saying that he remains committed to creating a better future for all Cypriots, in a peaceful and reunited Cyprus.
The President referred to the integration of Armenia’s, who fled Turkey and arrived on the island. He praised their successful entrepreneurial spirit, saying they have made the country proud.
"This site is very symbolic; this is where the first Armenia’s, who fled for their lives in 1915, first landed on the island.
"This memorial is an expression of appreciation shown by the Cypriot people for the hospitality and support to Armenia’s who have since made Cyprus their home," the President said, as he unveiled the memorial in the southern coastal town of Larnaca.
Christofias reiterated his respect and solidarity as well as deep feelings of love to the Armenian community here, noting that Cyprus offered them a new beginning and was a refuge at difficult times.
Referring to the political situation in Cyprus, he said his government would not cease to work for a united peaceful and prosperous country for all its citizens, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenia’s, Latins and Maronites.
He noted that Cyprus has suffered from a military coup, Turkey’s invasion and the continuing occupation of its northern part. Thousands of people have been displaced; many of them Armenia’s and people have been separated.
"Our ultimate goal is to reunite our country and our people in a bizonal bicommunal federation with one sovereignty, one citizenship and one international personality," he stressed.
He closed his remarks by assuring the Armenian community that he will continue to strive for a better future for the country and all its people.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, the Ambassador of Armenia Vahram Kazhoyan said: "93 years ago Armenia was in tragedy. Genocide had already started on the territory of historic Armenia. 93 years ago we were mourning and we still mourn the victims, the memory of the victims of the genocide which started ion 24th April 1915."
However, he said, "Armenia has survived and today is a day of festivities for Armenia, it is a big holiday for Armenia, today is the rebirth of our first Republic back in 1918. In 1918 in May after victory in three major battles against Ottoman Turkey Armenia’s established their first Republic after 700 years of non independence."
"After a lot of difficulties we have survived thanks to the help of our friends, and amongst these friends was Cyprus. One of those people was the Cypriot people who helped Armenia’since the first days of the genocide and who was among the first countries who recognized the genocide officially in 1982," he pointed out.
Armenia and Cyprus have been in the international arena, as friends helping each other with a lot of understanding between them, he noted.
“I am sure that the monument in the promenade of Larnaca will become not only one of the major monumen’s dedicated to the Armenian genocide all over the world, but I am confident that it will become one of the beautiful landmarks of Larnaca,” he added, and thanked the Municipality of Larnaca and the government of Cyprus.