NICOSIA — President Serge Sargisian delivered an address this week at the Cyprus House of Representatives. The entire text of his address appears below:
Thank you for receiving me in the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus. I am truly delighted and honored to speak before the parliament of the traditionally friendly state and the brotherly people for Armenia and the Armenian nation.
I am having warm feelings each time I speak of friendship between our two peoples. This friendship has ancient roots and a rock-solid foundation. Cyprus is a place, which is dear to the hearts and minds of the Armenian people. This marvelous island is one of the unique countries in which Armenians have never been considered as strangers from ancient times; rather, Armenians lived and created in this country and, whenever necessary, took on arms to fight against the enemies of this country. The vast majority of the Armenian community of Cyprus, which amounted to tens of thousands in the Middle Ages, left the country after the Ottoman invasion. However, by some irony of fate, the present-day Armenian community of Cyprus was formed under a different set of geopolitical circumstances as a consequence of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the same empire. Here, I bow respectfully before the Cypriot people for providing shelter, opportunities for a new life, and a new fatherland to the Armenian refugees that survived the yataghan.
My fellow Armenians that settled in Cyprus can live and create freely, without concealing their ethnic identity and origin. Fully integrated in the Cypriot society, the Armenians contribute to the prosperity of their second fatherland. I am proud that the Armenians of Cyprus contribute constructively to the public and political life of this country, as best illustrated by the fact that this session, to my great pleasure, is chaired by my fellow Armenian, Marios Garoyian.
I stand today in a parliament that back in 1982 was among the first in the world to recognize and denounce the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire, and to demand the restoration of historical justice. The Armenian people are grateful to the brotherly people of Cyprus for joining us in commemoration and paying tribute to the memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide. One of the monuments to the Armenian Genocide located in your country was erected in Larnaca with the support of the Cyprus-Armenia Friendship Group and my dear colleague, President Christofias.
The friendship of our peoples is genuinely sincere and strong. It withstood the test of time and upheavals of history. Destiny often subjected us to cruel tests, jeopardized our statehood and left our peoples, bearers of a millennia-old culture, in the hands of executioners. We paid with irreversible losses and a long struggle against the common enemy for ridding ourselves of the foreign yoke, and our freedom-loving peoples regained the right to live independently and in peace.