YEREVAN (Financial Mirror)–Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said Tuesday that recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey would have a liberating effect for the country and would show the world that the it is on a course of modernization and European integration.
Christofias added that the Republic of Cyprus will continue to support the Armenian people in their efforts to gain international recognition of the genocide.
The Cypriot president was speaking in Yerevan at the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial complex, where he laid a wreath in memory of the 1.5 million Armenians annihilated by the Turkish Ottoman government in 1915-1923. He also placed two white carnations at the inextinguishable flame and observed a minute of silence, and then planted a tree at the museum of the monument in memory of the victims.
Speaking after the ceremony, Christofias said it was unacceptable that Turkey, which is aspiring to become an EU member and wishes to create a modern state, continues to refuse to recognize the Genocide.
He said Cyprus is continuing its own struggle to reunite the island, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, and wishes to cultivate good neighborly relations with Turkey. He added that Turkey should modernize its domestic and foreign policy in order to join the EU.
Christofias also signed the book of condolences at the memorial, in which he wrote that the condemnation of the Armenian genocide is a duty for the entire modern world to uphold.