News > Cypriot Armenians > President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus Marios Garoyian in Lebanon
Garoyian: Cyprus has always stood by the side of the Armenian people with regard to their struggle for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
On 03 September 2009, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia (based in Antelias, Lebanon) expressed his appreciation to Marios Garoyian, President of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus during a reception organized in his honor.
In the presence of Cypriot, Lebanese and Armenian officials and members of the Cilician brotherhood, His Holiness said: "Mr Garoyian is a political leader who has
been able to locate the just demands of the rights of the Greek Cypriot and the Armenian people from Turkey within the current geopolitical context. Declarations and Conventions on genocide and human rights become ossified unless justice is actualized. Recent agreements regarding open frontiers and good neighbourliness cannot over-shadow evidence of the Armenian Genocide. Demanding the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is a collective responsibility because we are accountable to our martyrs."
At the end of his message, Catholicos Aram I decorated Garoyian with the highest award of the Catholicosate, "Knight of Cilicia".
Garoyian thanked Catholicos Aram and reaffirmed his commitment to the just causes of the people of Cyprus and the Armenians in Lebanon and the Diaspora. He said that these two just demands from Turkey should be pursued simultaneously.
The evening ended with a visit to the Martyr's Chapel where the distinguished guest paid his tribute to the memory of the martyrs of the Armenian genocide.
Cyprus has always stood by the side of Armenians
Cyprus has always stood by the side of the Armenian people with regard to their struggle for recognition of the Armenian Genocide, pledged the President of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus Marios Garoyian.
In his opening address on Wednesday (02 September 2009) at the Conference on “The Armenian Genocide and International Law” in Beirut, Garoyian noted “whether committed in times of peace or war Genocide constitutes a crime, condemnable and punishable under International Law”.
Garoyian said that "although the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide provides for an effective international tool against this crime, adhering to a Convention is only the first important step of what should actually and ultimately be pursued”.
Referring to the Armenian Genocide, Garoyian said that the Genocide of one and a half million Armenians by the Ottomans, in and around the year 1915, undoubtedly constitutes such a crime, for which Turkey has been toiling to prevent recognition.
“Notwithstanding the importance of historical recognition of crimes, so that impunity does not gain the upper hand in international law, it is imperative that all nations proceed to a straight-forward recognition of genocides, including the perpetrators of the crime”, he said.
Cyprus, he added, “has always stood by the side of the Armenian people with regard to their struggle for recognition of the Armenian Genocide”.
''Further to the fact that, for Cyprus, this constitutes a matter of principle, in terms of justice and international law'', he said, ''it is also a small sample of appreciation and gratitude towards all Armenians' stance to Cyprus’ struggle for reunification of our country. Solidarity between the Armenian and the Cyprus people is indeed mutual'', he stressed.
He noted that it was not circumstantial when the late Spyros Kyrpianou, then Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, first raised the point, in the mid 60s, of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide from the UN General Assembly podium.
The Cyprus House of Representatives has been one of the first Parliaments to adopt a relevant resolution in 1975, followed by other resolutions in 1982 and 1990. Equally important, the 24th of April has been declared by the Cyprus Parliament and Government as a Memorial Day of the Armenian Genocide, the House President told the conference.
These are actions of solidarity, open and unequivocal declaration of principles and a demand for the restoration of the historic truth, Garoyian said.
Cyprus and its people, he said, have many more reasons to understand the injustice of the Armenian Genocide and this is not just due to the existence of a vibrant community of Armenians living in Cyprus, but also due to the implementation of Turkey’s policy of ethnic cleansing against Cyprus’ population during the 1974 invasion and the continuing occupation of 37 percent of our country’s territory.
“Not only one third of Cyprus’ population was forced out of their homes, but also Turkey proceeded to a still continuing massive colonization of the occupied area and to the destruction of the religious and cultural heritage in the same area. Among the places of worship that were destroyed and/or left to perish, not least, is the Church and Monastery of Sourp Magar”, he noted.
''We, as parliamentarians, have a duty to raise our voice in all possible fora in the international arena so that the truth is heard and understood and so that history does not repeat itself'', Garoyian warned.
He noted that interests cannot be pursued at the cost of principles and justice. “Economic, political and geostrategic interests should not dictate the international community’s response to illegality and crimes. Principles should not be negotiable, nor should they be sacrificed on today’s power chessboard”, he added.
“The prevention of recurrence of such atrocities must be our primary aim and collective action with regard to this could be the most effective solution”, Garoyian said.
He remarked that as an Armenian himself, Armenians of the Diaspora are a closely knit community and are indeed indebted to many countries standing up as a second home to them. I take this opportunity to thank all countries and their peoples, that have embraced the Armenians of the world, including, of course, Lebanon and Cyprus'', he concluded.
Combined Sources: Communication and Information Department in the Catholicosate of Cilicia and Financial Mirror newspaper of Cyprus
Website of the Catholicosate of Cilicia: http://www.ArmenianOrthodoxChurch.org/
Link to "Financial Mirror" (Cyprus) article: http://www.financialmirror.com/News/Cyprus_and_World_News/17154
Note: The name Marios Garoyian in sometimes written as Marios Karoyian.
Photos (supplied / Catholicosate of Cilicia):