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Yerevan Forum: Syria calls on the world to combine efforts against IS

Syria condemns the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey and the visit of the Syrian delegation to Yerevan is a sign of the Syrian people’s respect. Remarks came from Syria’s Parliament Speaker Mohammad Jihad al-Laham at the Public and Political Global Forum “Against the Crime of Genocide” in Yerevan, on April 23, EADaily correspondent on the spot reported.

According to the politician, in 1915 Syria opened the doors to the Armenian people that suffered the horrors of genocide. “We regard Armenians as our brothers. Armenians of Syria are an integral part of the Syrian people. We make an outcry against evil today,” he said calling for recognition and condemnation of any crime against humanity. Otherwise, he said, the history and crimes repeat. In this light, the Syrian speaker drew the attention of those present to the actions of the Islamic State (IS), the deliberate damaging of the cultural heritage and the archeological and historical sites. He urged the progressive humanity to combine efforts to fight the terror and prevent new genocides.

Cardinal Kurt Koch of the Vatican, in turn, said the faith helped the Armenian people overcome what happened 100 years ago, “what we call the first genocide of the 20th century.” Cardinal Koch recalled that Armenians were the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301. “The sufferings you passed through, your service and martyrdom show your courage,” the Cardinal said.

Earlier on April 12, in Vatican, Pope Francis led a Holy Mass for the faithful of Armenian Rite. During the mass, Pope Francis said that the slaughter of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was the first genocide of the 20th Century.

Zoi Konstantopoulou, the speaker of the Hellenic Parliament also addressed the Yerevan Forum saying Greece supports the Armenian people’s efforts towards international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. She thanked the Armenian Parliament for recognizing the Genocide of the Pontic Greeks in the Ottoman Turkey. Konstantopoulou said Greece is now seeking reparations for the damage caused to the country during the WWII.

Vice President of the European Parliament Richard Charnetsky also expressed his support to the process of the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide saying the Armenian in the Ottoman Turkey died just because of being Armenians and Christians. “Despite the sufferings, the Armenian people could preserve its great culture and civilization,” he said.

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