NICOSIA — Visiting Nicosia on Friday, Armenian parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan described Armenia and Cyprus as “true friends” that share the common goal of containing Turkey.

“For centuries, Armenians and Cypriots fought against the Ottoman yoke, and today we, the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Cyprus, each have assumed a special mission: to confront Turkey’s expansionist policy,” he declared in a speech delivered in the Cypriot parliament. “And we carry out this mission by supporting each other on vital issues.”

Mirzoyan condemned Turkey for refusing to unconditionally normalize relations with Armenia out of solidarity with Azerbaijan. “The Armenian-Turkish relations are always discussed in the context of the third countries’ interests, which is categorically inadmissible and results in instability in the region and continuity of military conflict” Mirzoyan stated.

Speaking about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he praised successive Cypriot governments’ “principled position on all issues vital for Armenia and the Armenian people.”

Mirzoyan went on to accuse Ankara of illegal commercial activities in Cyprus’s territorial waters. “I cannot but not touch upon the encroachments of Turkey towards the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus, which is unacceptable, and it has been condemned by the international community. Such destructive and illegal actions shown by Turkey do not promote the provision of regional security and stability”. Mirzoyan declared.

Mirzoyan thanked Cyprus for being in the forefront of recognizing the Armenian Genocide. ” Our friend Cyprus has had its most important role in the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Today I am in a parliament, which is the first country in Europe and the second in the world that in 1975 recognized the Armenian Genocide. I express my deepest gratitude to the House of Representatives of Cyprus for declaring April 24 as the Armenian Genocide Memorial Day by state, and unanimously adopting the resolution criminalizing the denial of the genocides. Armenia and Cyprus has repeatedly proved their faithfulness to human values and reaffirmed the commitment directed to the continuous efforts of genocide prevention”.

Mirzoyan also emphasized the importance of the trilateral format of Armenia-Cyprus-Greece cooperation. Stating it creates new perspectives for deepening multi-layer cooperation between the participant states. “I am sure that the formation of the parliamentary platform of cooperation will give an opportunity for the parties to more effectively use the whole potential of cooperation,” said Mirzoyan.

The three countries share a long history of mutual animosity with Turkey. Armenian and Greek peoples were both victims of genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks during World War One.

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