Cyprus Welcomes Armenia-Turkey Detente
Cyprus welcomes "the moves to normalise relations between Armenia and Turkey" and the desire for peace and stability, said President Demetris Christofias speaking to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan who is on a state visit to the island.
Christofias said he hopes that difficulties in implementing the bilateral protocols between Armenia and Turkey will be overcome.
Commenting on Cyprus-Armenia relations, he said that Cyprus can play a bridging role between Armenia and the EU. Cyprus can be Armenia's "constant friend and supporter throughout Europe," he said.
Referring to the peace talks between the Greek-and-Turkish Cyprios communities, Christofias said that "Armenia and Cyprus are well-aware that Turkey is a key determinant of developments in our region."
"The burden of proof of the desire for a solution is in Turkey's hands. Our call on Turkey is a call of peace and cooperation. We hope it responds positively," said Christofias.
He added that Turkey's leadership must understand that "the policies of arrogance and threats" against an EU member state is inconsistent with the status of a candidate member of the EU.
"(Turkey's) insistence on maintaining the occupation and settlements is in violation of every principle of international law," he said.
The EU has put pressure on Turkey to normalise relations with Cyprus, but the response from its political leadership has remained defiant. Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wrote an opinion piece for Newsweek, saying that "it’s been more than half a century since Turkey first knocked at Europe’s door. In the past, Turkey’s EU vocation was purely economic. The Turkey of today is different. We are no more a country that would wait at the EU’s door like a docile supplicant."
"European labor markets and social-security systems are comatose. European economies are stagnant. European societies are near geriatric," writes Erdogan.
He urged the EU to realise that it needs Turkey, and said he hopes "it will not be too late before our European friends discover this fact."
Sargsyan is in Cyprus to mark bi-lateral protocols signed with the government, and he will also meet with House President Marios Garoyan and Archbishop Chrysostomos II.
During his visit he will take part in the Armenian-Cypriot business forum and will lay a wreath at the memorial to the estimated 1.5 million Armenian victims of ethnic cleansing in Turkey just after World War I.