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Blockade for Blockade: Cyprus Armenians Block Azerbaijani Soccer Team in Peaceful Protest

Cyprus Armenians

In a show of solidarity with Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), several members of the Armenian community in Cyprus organized a protest in the capital city of Nicosia. The demonstration was prompted by the ongoing political crisis in Artsakh and its prolonged blockade by Azerbaijan, which has persisted for nearly eight months, according to reports from local Armenian Artsakank Media.

The protest coincided with a football match between Azerbaijan's Gabala football club and Cyprus's Omonoia club at a local stadium. The Armenian protesters, numbering around 50 volunteers, seized the opportunity to raise awareness about the plight of Artsakh with the rallying cry "Block for blockade."

At the conclusion of the match, the protesters decided to block the exit gate through which the bus of the Azerbaijani club was scheduled to depart. The volunteers peacefully formed a human blockade, delaying the departure of the Azerbaijani team for approximately an hour. Their intention was to draw attention to the ongoing blockade imposed on Artsakh by Azerbaijan and to call for international support to address the humanitarian crisis in the region.

During the hour-long standoff, the demonstrators chanted slogans and displayed banners demanding an end to the blockade of Artsakh, a region that Azerbaijan is occupying following the 2020 Artsakh war.

Cyprus has a significant Armenian community, and their show of solidarity with Artsakh highlights the deep emotional and historical ties that unite the two communities. The ongoing crisis in Artsakh, compounded by the blockade, has led to increasing concerns about the well-being of the people living in the region.

After dialogue between the protesters and authorities, the blockade was eventually lifted, and the Azerbaijani team was allowed to leave the stadium peacefully. Despite the peaceful resolution, the protesters made their message clear, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the situation in Artsakh and calling for an end to the blockade that has had severe humanitarian consequences for the local population.

In a separate context, the football match itself ended in favor of the Cyprus Omonoia club, with a resounding 4-1 victory over Azerbaijan's Gabala.

The protest in Nicosia served as a powerful reminder of the deep-rooted bonds between the Armenian diaspora in Cyprus and their compatriots in Artsakh. It also underscores the continued concern and attention the ongoing crisis in the region commands on an international level.

As the situation in Artsakh continues to unfold, with political tensions and humanitarian challenges mounting, the solidarity demonstrated by the Armenian community in Cyprus echoes the sentiments of many around the world who are closely following the developments in the region and hoping for a peaceful resolution to the longstanding conflict.


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