ATHENS - President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos called on Turkey to recognize for past regimes' crimes against the Armenians and the Greeks, in a message following his meeting in Yerevan with President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian on Tuesday.
Greece "would like to convey to Turkey, our friend and neighbor, that it would be in its own interest and it would raise its international standing if it issued a courageous expression of apology for crimes against humanity that its past leaders foolishly committed against the Armenians and the Greeks," Pavlopoulos said.
He also added that "we Greeks welcome the fact that the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide is spreading significantly, culminating in the very recent resolution of the US House of Representatives in the United States." He also noted that Greece recognized the genocide in 1996 and established April 24 as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, while in 2014 it outlawed Armenian genocide deniers. Conversely, he said, in 2015 the Republic of Armenia's plenary recognized the Genocide of Greeks of Pontus.
The Greek president reiterated that Greece seeks friendship and good neighborhood relations with Turkey, and supports its accession to the EU, but this implies respecting international law and European legality. He condemned Turkey's intervention in Syria and reiterated that the Cyprus issue is an international and EU issue.
In an interview earlier to Armenpress, Armenia's news agency, Pavlopoulos again stressed that Greek-Armenian relations are based on a lasting friendship, mutual understanding and similar histories of suffering.