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Cyprus House commemorates Armenian genocide
2005-04-21 13:00:37

Nicosia, Apr 21 (CNA) -- The Cyprus House of Representatives commemorated today the Armenian genocide of 1915. The House observed a minute's silence in memory of the victims of this atrocity.

Speaking before the plenary, House President Demetris Christofias described the Armenian genocide of 1915 as one of the most heinous crimes ever committed in the history of mankind against helpless people.

He reiterated Cypriot people's solidarity towards the people of Armenia, adding that despite the fact the Armenian genocide is acknowledged by almost every country in the world, Turkey stubbornly denies to recognize this crime.

''The time has come for Turkey itself to recognize this historic event'', Christofias said, adding that such a decision would be a decisive evidence that Turkey follows its European path.

Petros Kalaidjian, representative of the Armenian religious group in the Cyprus Parliament praised the Cypriot House, which was the first parliament to recognize the Armenian genocide in 1982.

''The genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turks in 1915 is a historic fact which everybody recognize except Turkey,'' he added.

Kalaitzan noted that after Turkey has been granted a status of an EU candidate member-state, the voices even amongst the Turks for Turkey's obligation to face its past are increasing, adding that these calls come even from traditional friends of Turkey both in Europe and America.

''The countdown for Turkey has already began, since one after another states have started to recognize the Armenian genocide,'' Kalaidjian added.

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