Armenians of Cyprus defied pouring rain to march through the capital Nicosia on Sunday demonstrating against Azerbaijan’s “ethnic cleansing” of Nagorno-Karabagh, with similar protests organised in twenty other European capitals.
Several hundred marched from Eleftheria Square to the ‘European House’, home of the European Commission’s Representation and handed a petition to Members of European Parliament Costas Mavrides and Demetris Papadakis, who said that 60 MEPs are calling for sanctions against Azerbaijan.
Both MEPs criticised the double standards by European nations, considering their reliance on Baku’s exports of natural gas, saying that human rights were respected in the case of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and not in the case of the Armenians of Artskah.
“This is the result of the warmongering of [President] Aliyev who waited for the opportunity to occupy Nagorno-Karabagh. As MEPs, we condemn the military attacks and express the feelings of the majority of Europeans against this crime,” said Mavrides.
“The European Union must intervene to stop this ethnic cleansing and as EU we must seriously impose sanctions against Azerbaijan for its occupation of Artsakh.”
“In Cyprus, we know very well the dirty games of the Turko-Azeris. This is where we should all take a stand against their expansionist plans,” Mavrides concluded.
Papadakis said that this was the “ultimate stripping” of the mountainous area of any trace of the millenia-old Armenian Christian presence.
“The Azeris are achieving their objective to export natural gas uninterrupted to European markets. We will raise the issue so that the EU undertakes its responsibilities.”
The Greens’ former leader Georgos Perdikis said, “today we are all Armenians. We all stand together with Artsakh”
On Thursday, Cyprus House Speaker Annita Demetriou told the Parliamentary Assemblies meeting of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Dublin, that “an unspeakable humanitarian crisis has been unfolding for nine months in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
“Are we really doing enough for everything happening today in the world, specifically in the Ukraine? An ongoing invasion and occupation, this is what it is.”