YEREVAN (Armenpress)–As part of his official visit to Armenia, Greek President Karolos Papoulias, accompanied by his wife May, Wednesday visited the Dzidzernagapert memorial monument and the adjacent Genocide Museum, where they laid a wreath to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
“The fact of the [Armenian] Genocide is very barbaric from a human rights violation perspective is a black mark in contemporary history. The fact of the Genocide should be at least recognized. The guilty must be held responsible and should apologize,” Papoulias wrote in the Museum’s book of records. Greece’s First Lady wrote: “Once again I felt the deep roots, which unite the Armenian and Greek peoples."
During a meeting with students of the Yerevan State University President Papoulias also discussed the Genocide.
“The victims must demonstrate tolerance, if the perpetrators are willing to accept blame,” said the Greek President, who added that political and individual courage was needed for that, like the one Germany demonstrated by recognizing the Holocaust of Jews
During a press conference following his meeting with President Robert Kocharian, Papoulias expressed satisfaction for all the programs that have been undertaken in Armenia by Greece.
At the press conference Kocharian singled out cooperation in the agricultural and defense areas. He also underscored the importance of scholarships Greece is providing to the Armenian youth for continuing their education in Greece.
The Armenian president said that Armenia was very interested in gaining experience from Greece’s tourism industry. “We already have a college, opened with the support of Greece, which ensures average specialized education in tourism,” Kocharian said.
The Armenian president noted that during the meeting with his Greek counterpart they also discussed regional development matters.
Kocharian added that he would like to once again reconfirm the readiness and wish of Armenia to expand bilateral relations with Greece and said that in many issues the positions of the two countries are very close.
“Our bilateral relations are excellent and are developing dynamically. During our meeting it was once again reconfirmed that the field of bilateral ties is quite large,” the president of Greece said, positively assessing cooperation in the defense and educational spheres.
“Armenia and Greece must continue expanding warm cooperation in all the areas,” the Greek president said.