(CyprusMail) – Today, Cypriot President
Nicos Anastasiades and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan unveiled a cross stone (known in Armenian as a khachkar) as a gift from the people of Armenia to the people of Cyprus, symbolizing their friendship. The unveiling ceremony took place outside the premises of the protocol division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Addressing the ceremony, both presidents underlined the long-standing historic and friendly ties between the peoples of the two countries.
Anastasiades said the monument shows the close ties between the two people, adding that they had been both “victims of the same aggressiveness” and had fought for the prevalence of the principles of law in the international arena.
He added that Cyprus and Armenia must intensify their bilateral cooperation and join forces in order to vindicate their struggles.
He said Cyprus was one of the first European countries that recognized the Armenian genocide. “We jointly denounce the perpetrators of this crime,” President Anastasiades
said, but did not refer to Turkey by name.
“Our countries, our peoples, place faith on international law, peace, the respect of the peoples` sovereign right to decide about their future and to function with respect to human rights.”
Anastasiades also highlighted the active and important role of the ancestors of the Armenian living on the island and their part in Cypriot society.
The monument will remind everyone “of our historic and sincere friendship,” he said.
The Armenian President agreed with President Anastasiades, saying that the cross stone is a reminder to Armenia, the Armenian people, the Cypriot people, and all foreigners who visit this site as proof of the Armenian-Cypriot friendship.
“It will give the message that any destruction of a cultural monuments constitutes a crime against humanity, it will remind civilized humanity that it must struggle so that unique historic items of the human civilization must not be threatened by the use of violence,” President Sargsyan said.
Sargsyan stressed the importance of the cross stone in the Armenian people`s history and long-standing cultural heritage, adding that it is included in the list of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.