The Armenian Representative in the Cypriot parliament criticised the hypocrisy of world powers in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and apathy towards victims of other aggressions, including Cyprus.
“The international community must finally stop pretending to act based on economic and geostrategic interests and should take on the role of defender of world justice, putting words into practice,” said Vartkes Mahdessian in his annual address to the House marking the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24.
“Having suffered from the same enemy, Armenians and Cypriots, we are fighting for justice, and we are sailing in the same boat with Ukraine and other countries that face great powers in front of them.
“Unfortunately, the powerful nations have always been content with making simple statements of condemnation, leaving the weak a pawn of the invader’s appetites and eternal victims of their interests.
“The world’s mobilisation with the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine causes a strange notion.
“Public opinion has remained apathetic to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and more recently, the breaches of the Green Line in Cyprus and the violation of the status quo in Famagusta by the Turks, the war in Artsakh and the continuing violation of the borders of Armenia by the Azeris.”
Mahdessian said like every year, the tragic events of the Armenian Genocide, the first great genocide of the turbulent 20th century, are recalled again.
“We honour the memory of the more than 1,500,000 innocent Armenian martyrs who were massacred, murdered or deported between 1915 and 1923 and forced to die in the inhospitable desert of Der Zor in present-day Syria.
“In addition, at least 95,000 Armenians converted to Islam, leaving their descendants unaware of their origins today,” while a cultural genocide was widespread throughout Asia Minor, removing any indication of an Armenian presence over the millennia.
The Armenian MP said that of the 800,000 survivors who fled or were displaced, some 9,000 refugees ended up in Cyprus.
“Among them was my own family. But, with effort and hard work, the 1,300 who finally remained managed to stand on their own feet and maintain the good name the Armenians have always enjoyed on our island.
“Cyprus has always been a steadfast supporter of Armenians and Armenia.
“In 1975, it became the second country in the world and the first in Europe to recognise the Armenian Genocide, with Resolution 36 passed by the House of Representatives from this podium. In 2015, it criminalised its denial.
“The practical and moral support it offers us is continuous and uninterrupted, while at the state level, the two countries cooperate perfectly in trade and geostrategic sectors.
“Once again, I feel the need to thank all the governments of the Republic of Cyprus for the above.”
Taking the floor before calling for a moment of silence in respect to the victims, House Speaker Annita Demetriou said the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Young Turks was “one of the greatest crimes in the modern history of mankind, which began in 1915.”
“It has left a traumatic mark on the collective memory of the Armenian people, but also of all the peoples who have faced the atrocities of Turkey, which, with the tolerance of the international community, has committed genocides against other peoples, without to this day having acknowledged the Armenian Genocide or apologised for the policies of ethnic cleansing and expansion that it unrepentantly continues.
“As the House of Representatives, we condemn for the umpteenth time this heinous act and express our support to our friends, the Armenian people, while appealing to the international community for universal recognition of the Armenian genocide.”