Foreign visits
Pan-Armenian tour of President Serzh Sargsyan to Armenian communities

01.10.2009 - 07.10.2009

The Pan-Armenian tour of the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan kicked off on October 2 in Paris, where he met with over hundred representatives of the major Armenian communities of Europe.

Before that, in the morning of October 2, the President of Armenia had a meeting with Armenia’s National Hero, world famous singer Charles Aznavour. The great performer praised the Armenian President’s initiative to listen in the framework of the debates related to the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations to the opinions and concerns of our brothers and sisters in Diaspora, to soothe the existing worries, and to exchange views regarding future steps of the different parts of Diaspora on the ensuing stages.

In the afternoon, at the Canada square President Serzh Sargsyan laid a wreathe at Komitas monument dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, conversed with the representatives of our compatriots, who organized demonstration against the signing of the Armenian-Turkish protocols.

In the evening, the President of Armenia met with the representatives of different major Armenian communities, organizations and structures and made a statement. In his statement Serzh Sargsyan reflected on the principal approaches and concern related to the process of normalization and the initialed protocols.

Observing that meetings in this format – listening to the opinions and approaches of the world spread parts of our nation on the issues of national consequence - were a new phenomenon, President Serzh Sargsyan said, “This hall represents a collective force, it represents hundreds of thousands Armenians of Europe and I am talking about it with the unconcealed pride. This collective force has solved many problems of pan-Armenian significance and has always stood by Armenia. Today, we are also together - this time to consult before making a decision and to divide our labor before embarking on an important mission.”

Noting that he too was one of hundreds of thousands of our compatriots who wake up everyday and look intently at Ararat Mountain and instinctively revolt at any mentioning of year 1915, President Serzh Sargsyan invited the representatives of the Armenian communities of Europe to conduct an open discussion on the process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and its perspectives. “I want to hear concerns of the Armenians from all over the world. Such concerns are bound to exist regarding a painful issue such as this one. I want to mentally compare them to my own worries, to double check if there are any aspects that have been omitted or have not been considered. Is there a possibility that on this particular stage instead of creating opportunities for solving certain problems we carelessly close the doors on them?” President Sargsyan said.
The President of Armenia once again ruled out any possibility of preconditions for the normalization of our relations with Turkey and underscored that the negotiations have been conducted exclusively based on that premise.

Speaking about the initialed protocols, Serzh Sargsyan said, “These protocols are only the first step in the process of normalization of the relations between Armenia and Turkey. At this point, they have no other function than creating the minimally acceptable environment for negotiations. They envisage mechanisms to discuss the existing problems and unravel them in due time. The purpose of the protocols is to open the way for a complicated but at the same necessary process of normalization and provide opportunity to do it in a dignified way as it becomes the civilized nations in the 21st century.”
Afterwards, the President of Armenia spoke exhaustively about the current process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations, possibilities offered by the initialed protocols, and addressed main concerns related to the process. Speaking about the claim that signing of the protocols and establishment of the relations with Turkey could question the very fact of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated in Ottoman Turkey, President Sargsyan said, “I am stating without any “if” that it is a nonexistent issue.”
Speaking about the possibility that in the envisaged subcommittee on historical issues Turkey may supposedly question and challenge the very fact of the Armenian Genocide, President Sargsyan said, “The fact of the Armenian Genocide does not need any proof. And sooner or later the Turkish authorities will have to reckon over the fact of a genocidal killing of over 1,5 innocent victims, dispersion of the entire nation, and pain and anguish of their descendants. The only issue open for discussion is how we can help the people of Turkey to become more impartial while turning the pages of their own history, or to be more precise, how the repercussions of the Genocide can be dealt with.”
Regarding another worry, that the establishment of relations could jeopardize the process of international recognition of the Genocide, President Sargsyan said, “It will certainly jeopardize, if Armenians all over the world start to believe it. And vice versa – it will give a new impetus to the process, if the Armenian nation sees the opening opportunities and embark on the mission with added vigor.”
Speaking about another common concern that the establishment of relations with Turkey may be used to exert pressure on Artsakh issue, President Sargsyan said, “There is a clearly defined format for conducting negotiations on Karabakh issue and the process is moving on in that format. The initialed protocols have nothing to do with the NK issue. It is absolutely apparent that there is no allusion to Artsakh whatsoever. Our position is clear: the NK conflict settlement is not and cannot be in the realm of the Armenian-Turkish relations. Armenia is adamant on that. Moreover, the NK peace process still requires much work, which assumes that to expect signing of an agreement on that issue in the nearest future is not realistic.”
Speaking about the initialed documents, Serzh Sargsyan said, “I fully realize what kind of doors and what processes these documents may open. In my recent presentations I have been raising the same question: Are we closing some doors? I am sure, no. In reality, this is an agreement between two sovereign states, therefore it is acceptable or unacceptable for two parties. However, in reality we have been able to move forward toward the creation of the mechanisms for the resolution of the existing problems, transporting the solutions themselves in the realm of future joint work. I believe we have been able to create a document which contains nothing of irreversible nature; on the contrary it opens ways for working on all directions.”
In conclusion, President Sargsyan noted, “We are living in a new political and geopolitical environment. We must be one of those who shape that environment; we simply cannot be passive bystanders. We must conduct a proactive and inventive policy. I appeal to you to believe in our power, let’s accept that we are really strong when we are together and let’s move forward together. Armenia will not make a single move which does not serve the interests of the entire nation. Our strategic and perspective goals are unchanged, and the establishment of relations with Turkey closes no doors towards those goals, on the contrary it opens new ones.”
After President’s speech those present at the meeting engaged in an animated debate regarding the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations. All the attendees were provided with the opportunity to express their own and their organizations views on the documents and the process of normalization. They underlined that regardless of difference in approaches toward the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations, the Armenia Diaspora, as an entity, has always stood and will always stand by the Motherland, supporting Armenia and Artsakh.

In his concluding remarks the President of Armenia summed up the principle viewpoints and opinions, presented his position on each of the voiced concerns, and answered the questions raised by the participants to the meeting. “I don’t think it is appropriate to talk about the split among the different parts of the Armenian nation. I am confident that it will never be the case,” the President of Armenia assured those present.

Speaking about statements and unacceptable actions undertaken by certain political forces related to the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations, President Serzh Sargsyan said, “I fully respect all the viewpoints and voiced opinions regarding the process. However, if anyone is trying to intimidate me, he must be rather naïve.”

After the meeting, late at night on October 2, the President of Armenia answered also the questions from the media.


* * *

President Serzh Sargsyan continues his Pan-Armenian tour in the framework of the public debates on the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and initialed protocols, meeting with the representatives of the major Armenian communities and organizations abroad.

The second leg of the Presidential tour is New York. Here, on October 3, President Serzh Sargsyan met with the representatives of the Armenian communities of the East Coast as well as the representatives of the major Armenian communities of Canada. Present at the meeting were also the Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the All-Armenian Hayastan Fund, Gagik Haroutunian, the Special Envoy of the President and former President of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, Arkadi Ghukassian, and the Minister for Diaspora Affairs, Hranush Hakopian.

The participants of the meeting welcomed the initiative of the President to visit the major Armenian communities abroad. They noted that despite the decades long history and reach traditions of Armenia-Spyurq interaction, the President’s pan-Armenian tour and meetings in this format with ensuing thoughtful, multifaceted and pluralistic discussions form a new institute. It allows to listen to the voices and juxtapose positions of the different segments of the Armenian nation spread all over the world and to thoroughly explain Motherland’s positions to the Diaspora.

In his opening remarks President Serzh Sargsyan spoke about the process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and main concerns related to the initialed protocols and underscored once again that Armenia was moving toward the normalization of the relations with Turkey without preconditions.

“I believe that at this time we have been able to get the best there is,” the President of Armenia noted, commenting on the concern on whether it was possible to get a more favorable for Armenia document.

The President of Armenia said that after the certain events, which took place in the region last August, there actually emerged a new situation, which in turn indirectly enhanced the Armenian-Turkish dialogue since now it is obvious that the unresolved problems pose a great threat to the security, peaceful and prosperous future of the nations. Serzh Sargsyan expressed confidence that the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations would reduce the existing tension in the region and assist in creating the atmosphere of mutual trust.

Responding to the voiced concern that we haven’t yet thoroughly estimated all possible consequences and costs of opening the Armenian-Turkish border, the President of Armenia said that in this regard that the specialized structures and institutions had conducted significant work, on some issues the work was still in progress, and appropriate instructions have been given. President Sargsyan underscored that actually it was impossible to calculate all risks and challenges for every probable scenario, noting at the same time that many of our fellow citizens in Armenia, Artsakh and Diaspora had had same concerns regarding other momentous events in our nation’s life. “When we were voting for Armenia’s independence, many had same concerns regarding our future. At that time too not everything was calculated in detail for every possible development. When we were struggling in the imposed war for the liberation and self-determination of Artsakh, we didn’t have meticulous estimates for all possible scenarios either, while concerns were plenty. But we had faith in our goals and we achieved success,” the President of Armenia noted.

Serzh Sargsyan assessed worries over the possible economic expansion as groundless, declaring that the state has adequate tools and mechanisms, including legal, to provided solutions for the emerging problems and challenges.

During the meeting with the representatives of the Armenian communities of the East Coast and Canada, President Sargsyan stressed once again that in the framework of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations the fact of the Armenian Genocide is non-negotiable. “The only Genocide related issue which can be discussed is how we can assist the people of Turkey to be more unbiased while going through the pages of its own history, or to be more accurate, how to overcome the consequences of the Genocide,” said the President of Armenia.

The participants to the meeting spoke about their concerns and positions regarding the initialed protocols, possibilities provided by the opening of the borders and arising challenges. They concurred that notwithstanding the divergence of opinions regarding the process of normalization and the protocols, one thing was clear – Diaspora has been and must continue to stand by Armenia and Artsakh.

Concluding the meeting in New York, President Sargsyan said, “On this important stage of decision making, the most important thing for us is to be able to understand each other. I believe in Armenia’s great future. I believe because I see the right course,” the President of Armenia said and called upon our brothers and sisters in Diaspora to support Motherland’s steadfast advancement.

* * *

On the next leg of his Pan-Armenian tour, on October 4 at the Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles President Serzh Sargsyan met with the representatives of the West coast and Latin American major Armenian communities, organizations and structures to discuss the process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations.

Like in the other meetings that have taken place in the framework of the tour, the President of Armenia made opening remarks in which he spoke in detail about the process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and initialed protocols, opportunities provided by these documents, existing worries and concerns, listened to the views of those present, and answered their questions.

Participants to the meeting welcomed the President’s initiative to hear out the views of our sisters and brothers in Diaspora on this crucial issue and give first hand information. Stressed was the importance of precise reflection of all the information and views provided by the President of Armenia to the members of the organizations represented at the meeting, as well as all to our brothers and sisters in Diaspora.

Speaking about the Armenian-Turkish political dialogue, the President of Armenia noted that negotiations with Turkey have been conducted since Armenia’s independence and only recently they became public. Serzh Sargsyan stressed that for any negotiations it is important not only to have an untiring will to achieve the set objectives but also consider the timing and overall situation in which they are being conducted. He also expressed confidence that the timing and the situation were favorable for the Armenian side for achieving our goals. Speaking about the initialed protocols, President Sargsyan said, “Yes, I believe that it is possible to conduct normal negotiations, to have normal relations with Turkey and not to lose anything in the course, on the contrary – to gain benefits.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, in the honor of the President of Armenia the AGBU gave a reception at the Hilton Hotel, which was attended by more than 500 representatives of the major Armenian communities of the West coast and Latin American countries. Before the reception started, flags of the Republic of Armenia, the United States of America and state of California were brought into the hall and national anthems of the two countries were played.
Addressing our brothers and sisters from Diaspora attending the reception, the President of Armenia said,
“Most Eminent Fathers, Dear Compatriots, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I greet you all and express my gratitude for the opportunity to spend this evening together.
Today, we have conducted rather efficient and important discussions, scrutinized the current stage of the Armenian-Turkish relations, looked into the perspectives, and reiterated our long-term national goals. This is the third leg of my Pan-Armenian tour and the third round of discussions, which is attended by the Armenians from the West coast of the United States and Latin American countries.
One of the reasons that currently there are more than 120 hyphened words which start with “Armenian” - Armenian-American, Armenian-Brazilian, Armenian-Argentinean, etc. is Turkey - Turkey of the 19th and 20th centuries. But the pain, the pain of lost love, lost family, and lost home cannot be counted in years… Yet, today we still do not see any remorse; on the contrary we see defiance and denial. We see hollow hopes that our voices will wither with time. It is not going to happen. Our pain is too deep, our losses are inconsolable. Our voice will not be silenced. Our spirit is unbendable. All of this is true. But we also have some things which diminish. Qualms regarding our own abilities present a huge impediment.

In this hall and all over the world we are united by our common dreams and Armenia’s destiny which is linked directly to the destiny of the world-spread Armenian nation. Our thoughts, worries, sometime anguish and outbursts, heated debates and calm discussions, silent work and protest manifestations have one common goal – to see Armenia stronger, more beautiful, and more prosperous, to see the Armenian nation more united and organized. We are united not only by our roots but also by our national aspirations.

Future Armenia will be the Armenia we aspire for, intend for and start working for today. Alexander Tamanian was dreaming about, designing and started to build the capital of all Armenians – Yerevan. The subsequent generations lived in the city of Tamanian’s dreams. The time unavoidably makes corrections but I want to repeat that we lived in that city. We are having the same situation today. Our future country will be the way we see her in our minds. To achieve it, it is necessary to have the same vision and belief that Tamanian had, regarding his and the entire nation’s future. I have come to also renew our trust in our own strength and our future.”



***


The President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan continues his Pan-Armenian tour. Concluding his meetings in Los Angeles, the delegation headed by Serzh Sargsyan left for Lebanon. On October 6, in Beirut the President of Armenia held a meeting with over a hundred representatives of the major Armenian communities, national organizations and structures of the Middle East, Egypt, Iran and the Persian Gulf countries.
Before the meeting, the President of Armenia was visited by the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, Aram I. Serzh Sargsyan and Aram I discussed issues related to the process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and initialed protocols.

The participants of the meeting in Beirut praised the President’s initiative to visit Armenian communities abroad, to listen to their views on the process of normalization and initialed protocols and stated that the Presidential tour has established a new institute of discussions –consultations with the participation of different segments of our world-spread nation on the issues of momentous national significance.

At the beginning of the meeting, the President of Armenia made opening remarks and spoke about main concerns and viewpoints regarding the process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and initialed protocols. The participants of the meeting engaged in a lively and open discussion after which the President of Armenia answered their questions.

Serzh Sargsyan said that the meetings, which took place in the framework of the tour, were most productive and noted that besides pros and cons he has also heard many thoughtful proposals related to Armenia-Turkey relations. “The abnormal situation existing currently between Armenia and Turkey is not to anyone’s benefit - ours or theirs. Establishment of relations and border opening will provide an opportunity to create a platform, a more or less tolerable situation to move the dialogue and negotiations forward,” the President of Armenia said.

Speaking about worries related to the normalization of the relations, the President of Armenia stressed, “I have worries too. On many occasions, I am trying to juxtapose my aspirations with the aspirations of those who, I am confident, judging from the bitter experience of the past, believe that there can be no relations and no dialogue with Turkey. This is understandable. Are there concerns? Of course, there are. But can these concerns become an obstacle for establishing relations?” Serzh Sargsyan underlined that concerns were also expressed on the two most important developments that took place in the last twenty years, when we declared independence and during the fight for Artsakh’s freedom and right for self-determination. “And despite the existing concerns, confidence and trust in our own strength brought the desired result,” underscored the President of Armenia.

The President of Armenia elaborated on all main concerns regarding the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and provided additional clarifications. “We have stressed on many occasions that the recognition of Genocide is not only a matter of justice but also an important aspect of security for Armenia and the Armenian people. It is essential,” President Sargsyan noted.

The President of Armenia also observed that as a result of the Armenian-Turkish normalization process, last year references to the Armenian Genocide and coverage of the topic in the leading world media have increased substantially.

Responding to the expressed concern that as a result of the ongoing process Turkey may assume a role in the resolution of the NK conflict, President Sargsyan noted, “the Nagorno Karabakh conflict will find its solution only when we are convinced that we have what we, our people have been fighting for since 1988.” President Sargsyan stressed once again that the normalization of the Armenia-Turkey relations and the issues of Artsakh were not linked in any way, which has also been stated repeatedly by the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group.



***



At the conclusion of the meeting, the President of Armenia participated at the reception given in the honor of his visit to Beirut. Addressing the attendees Serzh Sargsyan said,

“Today, following the example of the Lebanese Armenians, I would like to talk of a phenomenon which you know better than I do. I am talking about the condition in which the Armenians, who had survived the Genocide, arrived to Lebanon and what their descendents became one or two generations later. Deprived of their homes, land, property, starving and almost dead, the scraps of our nation, which included many orphans, in a short period of time created a flourishing Armenian community with its structures and substructures, churches, schools, periodicals, cultural, sports, and benevolent institutions and raised a new Armenian-speaking and patriotic generation.
This extraordinary will power and ability to survive later was named the “Armenian phenomenon”. The story repeated itself in other places all over the world, where Armenians found refuge, and presence of the representatives of other Armenian communities testifies to that.

Let’s compare the Armenians in Lebanon in 1915 and the same community only fifty years later – in 1965. I want you to draw the same parallel between Armenia of 1991, when we declared our independence, and to imagine what Armenia will be in fifty years – in 2041. Add three exceptional advantages for development that Armenia possesses – millions of Armenians, our own land and independent statehood. I am not talking about dreams and aspirations but about real life, which our fathers and grandfathers lived here, right before your eyes,
on the hospitable soil of Lebanon and other countries of the region. The new Armenia has been following the same path of standing up, creating businesses, building nice homes, establishing beautiful towns and villages, giving the children a decent education. I have no doubt that we will succeed; I want you not to have any doubts either because throughout history different parts of our nation and the nation as a whole have done it again and again.
Today, Armenia and the Armenian nation face many problems – economic, political, etc. But compared to what we had, it becomes obvious that for many hundreds of years there have never been more favorable conditions for development.

When we declared independence, literally one third of Armenia was leveled to the ground after the earthquake. We sheltered hundreds of thousands of refugees from Azerbaijan. We knew that we were on the brink of a brutal and exhausting war, but we had confidence in ourselves, we had confidence in you, we had confidence in the “Armenian phenomenon”. Past years have shown that we have been able to conquer those perils and we’ve done it together.

Today I am here because I need to listen to your opinion and be aware of your concerns. It will really help me in my job. But I am also here to urge you to trust and believe in Armenia. “To trust and believe” doesn’t mean sit idle and wait for instructions. In this case it is unacceptable. “To trust and believe” means to actively respond to Yerevan’s initiatives and at the same time demand from Yerevan to do what the motherland of the entire Armenian nation is obligated to do for its sons and daughters who were deprived of their motherland.

We have numerous friends all over the world, but there are also hostile forces who dream of erecting walls of misunderstanding and distrust between the different parts of the Armenian nation, to drive a wedge not only within communities but also between Armenia and Spyurk, Armenia and Artsakh. And those forces do not just dream - they act vigorously. They are aware of our most potent weapon. It is our unity that can move mountains. It’s up to us to realize it and renew our pledge – common roots, common goals, and common future.

Armenia is moving forward. It is our duty to do everything to facilitate that advancement, to give new momentum to that progression because in Paryur Sevak’s words “We may not be late for the history train or plain.”

We need modern solutions, acceptable for the contemporary world but also solutions acceptable for the Armenian reality. I am confident that our collective thought will find these solutions as it’s been in the past when in much more complicated situations we were able to find right and precise solutions. Today we fight on many fronts, but we – Armenia, Artsakh and Spyurk are one solid and united front. With a front like this we are invincible and immortal.

Long live Armenia, long live the Armenian nation!”

* * *
The one-week Pan-Armenian tour of President Serzh Sargsyan was concluded on October 7, in Rostov-on-Don, where he met with over 250 representatives of the major Armenian communities, structures and organizations of the Russian Federation and other CIS countries to discuss the current stage of the process aimed at the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations. Same day, late at night the delegation headed by the President of Armenia returned to Yerevan.



***


At the meeting in Rostov-on-Don, addressing our compatriots residing abroad, the President of Armenia said, “This is the last stop of our pan-Armenian tour. We’ve arrived here with rich impressions from our meetings with the representatives of the Armenian communities in Europe, America, and Middle East. Understandably, different countries have their local specific features but everywhere we met people, including those critical towards my actions, who have nostalgic feelings for Armenia and are concerned with our problems. Everywhere we went, I urged them to double their efforts to support Armenia politically, economically and in any other way, not to abate but on the contrary to invigorate efforts aimed at the international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide. There is no Armenian in the world who will have second thoughts about Genocide or Artsakh issues. A unity such as this can move mountains, and regardless of how hard some Turkish leaders try to exploit the emotional attitude of our compatriots, to present sincere concern for our country as a coercion attempt, they will fail. They will not drive a wedge between Armenia and Spyurk.

I have initiated this tour because I need the support of our sisters and brothers from all over the world. And that support should not necessarily be displayed by the unanimous approval of the initialed protocols. The spirit of our people is much more important, collective memory and readiness to act.

During this week I have met many Armenians, who live in different corners of the world, are members to different parties or are not partisan, who are studying or graduated from the best universities of the world, as well as those who have secondary education or very little education. I met people of different abilities, different mentality, and different beliefs. Nevertheless, we are all united by one thing – boundless love for our Motherland, our sincere desire that our country presents herself in a dignified way, protected from all dangers, and our people living prosperous lives. And I assure you that it can be achieved only through progress.

Viewing history through the lens of hindsight, we see that nothing in the world happens during stagnation. Therefore, the progression of our country also depends on our readiness to become modern, developed, and diligent. And that progress must be for and not against something.

Especially for this particular audience, I would like to talk about one important issue. Nowadays, some individuals that are trying to circulate the idea that a possible normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations is schemed for distancing Armenia from Russia. Such ideas are groundless, “pearls” of misinformation and misrepresentation. Sometimes they can be even presented as the results of analyses. Armenian-Russian strategic partnership is developing rapidly, including in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. I believe that very soon you will witness developments, which will put an end to the suspicions of the staunchest of the disbelievers.

I agree that everything new has a risk factor. Concern over Armenia’s and her people’s future were present when we were declaring independence. When we were starting the Artsakh movement, which would inevitably result in new realities, we again were having serious concerns. But in both cases we had made a decision and moved forward. We decided to believe in our own strength, convinced that we read the imperatives of the time accurately. Today too, we must be able to make a decision and move forward. To realize the dangers does not mean to shy away from the right course: on the contrary, it means to move forward cautiously but steadfastly, overcoming obstacles or getting around them wisely.

These days, in the framework of this tour as well as in Armenia a lot has been said about the pros and cons of the initialed protocols. I don’t want to go into that again, because you all have heard numerous opinions and viewpoints. However, I will be happy to answer your questions. Before that I would ask you for a favor – do not be guided by what the Turkish side wants to see in these protocols. After all, we have initiated this entire process and we must lead it. Certainly, there can be and actually have been provocations, attempts to undermine the process, multiple hidden and obvious risks. Had it not been the case, there would have been no need for all these efforts.

Dear Compatriots,

The Armenian foreign policy has entered a new, more multifaceted phase. Any new idea or reality meets resistance. It is natural. And issues, which are linked to our decades-long pain, are particularly sensitive and require emotional approach.
Today, we are here in Rostov-on-Don, or one can say in New Nakhichevan, which was built predominantly by the western Armenians. For them, for many of us, the historical motherland is behind Ararat Mountain, on the other side of the Armenian-Turkish border. And to see that border does not mean to forget or forgo the past.

In the past few days, I have been interacting with the sons and daughters of the Armenian nation from all over the world; I saw many serious eyes, many astute, eloquent and bold glances, I touched the collective Armenian spirit and collective Armenian strength. Look at each other. We are strong. These are not just words. It must be felt. As soon as we feel it, we will start acting differently. Believe me. We shouldn’t undervalue our own strength.

Time is working for those, who use it wisely, who apportion their strength skillfully. Let’s work hand in hand in the Armenia-Artshakh-Spyurk triumvirate, let’s work judiciously and time will be working for us and will become our ally.”

After the opening remarks, the President of Armenia listened to the opinions and viewpoints of the attendees regarding the current stage of the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and initialed protocols, and answered their questions.
The participants to the meeting hailed President Sargsyan’s initiative to conduct a Pan-Armenian tour and noted that it provided a great opportunity to get first hand and essential information regarding the process and Armenia’s anticipations from the improved relations.

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