Working visit of the President Armen Sarkissian to the State of Israel
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the State of Israel on a working visit, and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian today visited the Israeli Parliament – Knesset where they were hosted by the Speaker of Knesset Yuli Edelstein and Mrs. Irina Nevzlin.
The Speaker of Knesset welcomed the President of Armenia and noted, “We are greatly honored to receive you in our country. We are happy to see you here even though your visit is taking place in the framework of the event which is not that joyful.” Yuli Edelstein expressed confidence that the visit of President Sarkissian as well as Armenia’s decision to open an embassy in Israel would become important cornerstones for the advancement of the bilateral relations. “I believe this visit will bring about very positive changes in our relations. Potential for our cooperation is much bigger then we are using currently,” the Speaker of the Israeli Knesset said.
President Sarkissian noted that he had stood at the origins of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel. “To be honest, I wanted for years to come back to Israel because I have memories related to this country,” the President of Armenia said and stressed the importance of adapting Israeli experience in different areas including high-tech and innovation as well as exchange of experience.
Speaking of analogous pages in history, President Sarkissian said that similarities in the destinies of the two peoples were striking and they suggest that it is necessary to think of the future. “We can create that future together, as two states and two nations. Armenia is a small country but a global nation, the same is true for Israel. I am here to also identify areas of cooperation. Armenia attaches importance to the development of many areas – science, education, security, agriculture, modern technologies. And as the President, I have initiated making Armenia a new technological hub since we have a number of advantages in achieving that. There are prominent physics in our country, mathematicians, and we have good educational programs in the area of software engineering.”
President Sarkissian said that there were many tragic pages in the history of the Armenian and Jewish peoples and it is necessary to take joint steps to prevent such human tragedies from happening again. The President of Armenia raised the issue of recognition by Knesset of the Armenian Genocide and underscored that recognition and condemnation of that shameful page in the human history must not be conditioned by the day’s political interests and realities. “Recognition of the Armenian Genocide is first of all a moral responsibility and a tribute to the memory of innocent victims; at the same time, it would be an important contribution to the international efforts on prevention of genocides and crimes against humanity,” the President of Armenian underscored.
At the conclusion of the visit, President Armen Sarkissian made in inscription in the Book of Honorary Guests. Later, President Sarkissian and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian toured the premise of the Israeli parliament.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the State of Israel on a working visit, met with the Governor General of Canada Julie Payette.
Noting that relations between Canada and Armenia have a good history, President Sarkissian noted at the same time that future of the Armenian-Canadian relations has great potential. He said that was anticipating progress on the issue of opening an embassy of Canada in Armenia which would give a new impetus to the bilateral relations.
The interlocutors underscored the great input of the Armenian-Canadian community, which stands out for its unique role and discipline, in the history of Canadian success and noted that it is a strong bridge which connects the two friendly nations. In this context, President Sarkissian hailed the warm and humane attitude towards our compatriots who moved to Canada from Syria.
The parties concurred that Armenia and Canada could cooperate successfully in the areas of science, education, and modern technologies. Introducing the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Presidential initiative, which is aimed at the development in Armenia of science and technologies, President Sarkissian noted that that multi-component program aims at bringing to Armenia outstanding international IT and high-tech companies where they can work on the advancement of artificial intelligence, mathematical modeling, and other topics. He also said that would be glad to see on that platform along with other partners also Canadian firms.
President of Armenia invited the Governor General of Canada, who is also a specialist in astronautics and cosmology, to visit Armenia and bring her input to the STARMUS 6th Festival. The event will be attended by Nobel Prize winners, world-famous scientists, astronauts, and musicians. The Festival aims at propagating science, inspiring younger generations and making science more attractive for them.
President Armen Sarkissian in Jerusalem participated at the 5th World Holocaust Forum. The Forum titled “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting the Antisemitism” held in Yad Vashem, a memorial dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust, brought together leaders from over 40 states and other high-ranking officials. The Forum was opened by the President of the State of Israel Reuven Rivlin under whose auspices the World Holocaust Forum Foundation in cooperation with Yad Vashem it is being held. The President of Israel thanked the participating countries for solidarity and sent a message to remember and never forget.
At the Forum statements were made by the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of France Emmanuel Macron, Vice President of the United States Mike Pence, Prince Charles from the United Kingdom, President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as by the Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, the Rabbi who has survived the Holocaust Yisrael Meir Lau.
The speakers noted that it was no accident that the Forum was held in Yad Vashem, at the memorial dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust. Commemorating the 75th anniversary of liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Forum once again sent a message that antisemitism, xenophobia, racism, and intolerance have no place in the contemporary world. Their acknowledgment, recognition and unequivocal condemnation is everyone’s moral obligation and primary responsibility in the name of the past and future of the human race.
It was noted that the leaders were gathered at Yad Vashem with responsibility for the past and the future. It is important to remember not forget the sufferings of the victims and survivors, and not to allow that in any country, in any nation’s life, at any time such crimes happen again. As a responsibility for the future and generations, they say “Never Again…”
A multinational orchestra and a choir led by Maestro Vladimir Spivakov in the universal language of music performed in the name of peace and harmony.
In the framework of the Forum President Armen Sarkissian conversed with Vice President Mike Pence, Prince Charles of the United Kingdom, President of France Emmanuel Macron, President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Italy Sergio Mattarella, President of Portugal Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, President of the European Parliament David Sassoli.
The President of Armenia and leaders of other states participating to the Forum laid wreaths at the memorial dedicated to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising which is authored by the renowned sculptor and artist Nathan Rapaport. They also paid tribute to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
President Armen Sarkissian and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian visited the Church of the Holy Nativity in Bethlehem. They were greeted by the Grand Sacristan of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, His Eminence Ter Sevan Archbishop Gharibian.
The President and Mrs. Sarkissian toured the Church, lit candles and listened to the Armenian spiritual songs performed by the Armenian clergymen and prayed together with them.
On behalf of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Archbishop Gharibian welcomed the visit of the President and his spouse to the holy town of Bethlehem and noted that Armenians presence here is of great national pride.
In the section of the Church of the Holy Nativity administered by the Armenian Apostolic Church, President Armen Sarkissian conversed with the clergy and said in particular, “Your mission, which started hundreds of years ago, at the beginning of the 21st century has the same value and the same meaning as it had on the day when Jesus Christ was born here. Thus, departure form that historic day doesn’t mean that its significance for the world and our people diminishes. On the contrary, it increases because the world needs more than ever to appreciate faith in God and in human values. That’s exactly what you do – devotion to God and preservation of human values, and I highly appreciate that. Historical, spiritual Armenian trace is here and one who enters this cathedral can really feel Armenian presence.
According to President Sarkissian, “It is very important to deepen the relations between the Holy See of Etchmiadzin and Jerusalem, to make it more vital, and at the same time deepen your ties to the Fatherland.”
The President of Armenia and the Grand Sacristan of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem spoke about Armenian presence in the Holy Land and undertaken mission.
In the framework of his working visit to the State of Israel, President Armen Sarkissian visited today one of Isreal’s leading educational establishmen the HIT Holon Institute of Technology.
President Sarkissian met with the leadership of the Institute and laterd delivered a lecture titled “Geopolitical realities in the era of artificial intelligence.”
The President of the Institute Eduard Yakubov noted that it was a great honor to host the President of Armenia and said in particular, “The history of the Armenian and Jewish peoples has many tragic pages. We remember and mourn the death of the millions who lost their lives during the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. We will always remember tragic pages of the history.
We highly value your visit to Israel, to commemorate along with 41 other heads of state the 75th anniversary of liberation of Aushwitz-Birkeau.
Armenia has chosen the course of modernization and democracy. It is well-known that education and science have a prominent and decisive role in leading the country to a better future. Here, we have been educating for the last 50 years our future generations in close cooperation with the industrial community and have been developing academic ties of our country with many countries of the world.
I am confident that this is an important step forward towards the expansion of the relations and cooperation between our Institute and Armenia, with your scientific and educational establishments.”
President Sarkissian thanked for the invitation and noted, “Our peoples have multiple similarities. Both are very ancient nations, were expelled from their homeland, struggled to preserve our countries, cultures, and identities. We both had lost our statehood hundreds of years ago and gained it back, we both had gone through horrendous human tragedies.
The Armenian Genocide of 1915 took lives of 1,5 million Armenians, wiped out the Armenian community in the Ottoman Empire. As a result, a large Diaspora was formed.
The purpose of my visit to Isreal is to pay tribute on behalf of my people and my own behalf to the victims of the Holocaust. Our two nations proved that life is stronger than death. In this world, it is impossible to think about us and speak of death. One should think and speak of life.
Another purpose of my visit is to establish a bridge between the scientists of Armenia and Israel. Relations were very strong during Soviet times. The school of theoretical physics in the USSR was among the best in the world, and we are proud of that fact because it gave us great scientists.
In Soviet times many Armenia as well as Jewish scholars worked in Moscow, Leningrad, Armenia. The USSR of 1970s was very strict: students of the Jewish origin were not accepted to universities, and they were coming to Armenia. After independence we somewhat lost that connection, and many of the Jewish origin, who lived in Armenia, came to Israel.
I am here today to try to open a new page, give a fresh start for our scientific communities. But before doing it, let’s think what kind of research will be needed in future. To think about future and our place in it, it would be useful to imagine what the world will be in 5, 10, or 20 years from now. Looking back at 1950s, we see that the population of our planet was 2 or 2.5 billion and was increasing by some per cent each year. But after 1950s it’s been growing faster. Today, we live in the world which has 10 or more billion people living together. When we glance at the areas of mathematics, physics, science, and technology everything looks fine but there are so many uncertainties and questions on how the world will develop further, how politicians will be making the right decisions, what’s going to happen in the Middle East, with conflicts between different nations, how the economy will grow, etc. There are more questions than answers while the classical solutions don’t work any longer. Confusion is everywhere. What is the source of all this?
Going back 100 or 150 years, when the world was governed by classical mechanics, physicists started to notice a phenomenon which they couldn’t explain, and the situation was almost similar to this one. There were multiple phenomena which scientific giants couldn’t explain, confusion was great on what was going to happen, what would be with the scientific methodology. What happened next? Geniuses were born: Albert Einstein, Werner, Heizenberg.
To explain all this one needs to change the approach, logic, and philosophy. The moment we change it, everything becomes explicable. It is totally different when you know of quantum mechanics, when everything in the world works based on the logic of relativity. For instance, when I want to move from point A to point B, formulas exist which explain that that but in quantum mechanics everything is different. In quantum mechanics you need to change yourself, totally, your philosophy, your mentality, your logic, the mathematics you use because quantum mechanics use mathematics absolutely different from the classical one. The moment you change yourself and your perception, everything becomes possible. Things that were discovered 100 years ago were phenomenal. It was phenomenal not only for scientific research but also for technologies. For everything we have today and will be having 10, 20 years from now, we owe to the giants of quantum mechanics.
Space travel, discovery of nuclear energy, telephones, which we all have, have changed our lives. What is a phone? A means of communication. Imagine our lives without phones. Many of you wouldn’t even remember that there were times without phones. Our kids and grandkids will be living in a totally different world. They will ask how we could survive without phones. People cannot exist without communication. Our first link to the world is formed through our mothers, when she feeds us, teaches us she becomes our means of communication with the world. My two-year old grandkid lives two lives: one is a normal material life, the other is virtual. It is quite possible that they learn more from the virtual life. It is very different from the material world since the speed of communication has become the speed of life. We are becoming individuals whose communication speed is life speed. Thus, communication or ties become the most important factor.
This new world is different. When I look at us, human beings today, I am thinking that we look like elementary particles, we are becoming quantum articles. The world is becoming a place where we are quantum particles in a big world and are able to communicate in a special way. If we want to understand what the new world will be like, what is the future of industry, economy, business, and politics, we need to start changing our mentality, philosopy, logic, viewpoints. Move back 20 or 50 years and tell someone that two guys with no college degree, in the garage of their grandpa created something and became millionares. People will not believe you. This is a new world. In Moscow, Yerevan, New York or here, each young person thinks of creating a startup because they trust in the power of ideas, believe that they can achieve success in the new world. This world is different in every sense.
How classical politics work? It works the following way: there are ideas, ideologists, right wing, left wing, liberals, people create political parties. The latter participate to the elections and form governments. Previously, accountability was expected by the society from elections to elections, or politicians were sending their messages via radio or TV. But nowadays there is Facebook, Twitter which allow politicians to communicate with the society on a daily basis. The ongoing political processes are also of quantum nature. I can bring multiple examples from all over the world when a small event is having a domino effect. Look how entertainment and politics have intertwined. Politics has always been part of entertainment and politicians from ancient times were using the elements of entertainment: think of gladiators. However, now reality is different: politics and entertainment have mixed together. There are numerous comedians who become politicians. And there are multiple politicians who act as comedians. Since this process is interactive, it becomes more and more attractive.
It’s one thing when you come home and watch Game of Thrones, and another thing when you in a social network make direct comments to the producers of the movie. With that, you become a partner. You feel good about it; your opinion is worth something. When multiple people write comments related to this or that political event, it is having a great impact on politicians. Here we are dealing with integration.
Now about science. It is becoming increasingly difficult to study and develop “clean science” because industry and science came very close to each other. Industry dictates what’s to be done. I believe that in a sense we are entering a new Renaissance era. Individuals are powerful today and have become quantum which means your actions are intertwined. You are interrelated through your research, educational process. That research is very close to industry. In the end of the day, you link all this to other areas of your life – arts, music. You individually start to live like prominent people of the Renaissance. For instance, Leonardo da Vinci was not only an artist and sculptor but also a great scientist, engineer. I hope you all will enjoy your life. I would like to come back here in 50 years and to see what’s going on.
Many things in today’s world are quite different, including the methodology of your education. The current generation even before going to school is able to communicate via gadgets with no knowledge of the alphabet. How can you educate this generation, keep them in school for 10 or 12 years, make them sit for 45 minutes for each class when there is so much information around? Information they get is absolute. We need to start thinking again how to teach our children. They are children from the future, they know where they run to. Now we have to teach children, who have this much information, how to use it, how to be innovative and get something useful from what they know rather than make them sit in classrooms for 10 or 12 years. I believe every child, every teenager has this or that kind of talent. And the greatest mission of the educational system should be to reveal that talent. One is great at making chairs, another can compose music. And the educational system should help everyone from the quantum point of view find that talent and support them. Never do things you don’t like. Along with love, family, parents the most precious thing in life is time. It’s an absolute asset. Thus, never waste your time, discover yourselves. I am also here to invite you to Armenia. It is a truly beautiful country. We have no oil but we are lucky to have water. We have 5 to 6 times more water we actualy comsume. We have things to learn from you because you administer the water resources of your country in a better way than we do. There are things we need to learn from you, there are thinks we can teach you. Let’s discover all that. It would be very nice if we are able to discover each other not only on virtual platforms, visiting Google and looking for information on Armenia.
We live in a world with million questions and no answers. This is a new world, a world of data. Everyone is talking of the small countries which became successful because they have harbors. The ocean of information will be an important and powerful ocean of the future. And I strive to make Armenia an international harbor in the ocean of data, information, science and technologies. This is my dream. To achieve that I am in this country, a country which has many sailors, captains, marine specialist of that ocean. I am here to offer working together, doing something which could be useful for you, for us, for the world.
What’s the value of an idea? Does it have a commercial value, can “ideas market” be regulated? The important thing is the ability to create something. Each of you should become Richard Feinman in their area, moving from complicated to simple which is beautiful. Everything in the new world will be changing rapidly. Innovations are happening fast and we need to adopt to success as well as to failures. There are many qualities you need to breed within you to be successful in the 21st century. It will be the century of artificial intelligence and quantum life.
One hundred years ago, our thinkers had discovered that the nature was not classical but quantum. I am here to say that as their humble disciple I not only agree with them but also have a feeling that we, human society, too, which is part of the nature, is not classical either, it is quantum. And you are at the gates of that new quantum world. It would be wonderful and great if you find your own path and try to understand that quantum world.”
At the conclusion of the meeting a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the academic area between the Presidentail ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) initiative on the development of science and technologies in Armenia and HIT Holon Institute of Technology was signed.
President Armen Sarkissian and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian visited one of the most cherished and prominent holy place in Jerusalem and entire Christian world the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It is built on the tomb of Jesus Christ, Golgotha crucifixion site, the Feast of the Cross cave and some other holy places. The tomb of Christ is under the dome of the Holy Sepulcher Church. The control of the Church itself is shared by the Armenia, Greek, and Catholic churches.
The President of Armenia and Mrs. Sarkissian were greeted by the Grand Sacristan of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, His Eminence Ter Sevan Archbishop Gharibian and representatives of the Armenian clergy.
The President of Armenia and Mrs. Sarkissian toured the Church, visited the holy places, lit candles and prayed. Later, they conversed with spiritual fathers. At the meeting with the Armenian clergy. President Sarkissian said that the Armenian nation has enormous cultural and spiritual heritage on this land and there is a need to exhibit it in a better way to the visitors of Jerusalem and the world in general. According to the President, this holy land and holy place can become a bridge through which the visitors of this sites and Jerusalem learn about Armenia, great Armenian spiritual and cultural heritage and values.
President Armen Sarkissian and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian visited the center of the Armenian spiritual heritage in Jerusalem, the magnificent the Cathedral of Saint James erected on the Mount Zion.
President Sarkissian laid a wreath at the memorial built nearby in the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide. At the Cathedral of Saint James President Sarkissian was told about the history of the Cathedral and its historical and cultural assets. It was noted that the depository of the Cathedral of Saint James in Jerusalem, which contains nearly three thousand manuscripts, is particularly precious. This depository is the second largest collection of manuscripts after the M. Mashtots Matenadaran in Yerevan.
At the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the President of Armenia met with the Armenian Patriarch His Eminence Nourhan Archbishop Manougian.
President Sarkissian and His Eminence conversed about national and ecclesiastical issues and the activities of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
President Sarkissian stressed the importance of the Patriarchate in Jerusalem, which has been present on this holy land for centuries and has rich traditions, in the preservation of the Armenian spiritual and cultural heritage and passing it to next generations.
Later, a reception was held in honor of the President of Armenia which was attended by the representatives of the Armenian community and the heads of different religious communities of Jerusalem.
The Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Eminence Ter Nourhan Archbishop Manougian in his speech noted in particular, “I welcome your presence at this glorious and holy place. We are greatly inspired with your honorable visit. We wish that the relations of our Holy See and this state become stronger because the multilingual foreign visitors for the first time in this Patriarchate hear an Armenian name, familiarize with the Armenian nation and our spiritual and cultural assets.”
President Sarkissian noted that he was glad to visit the Cathedral of Saint James and pray here. “I prayed for our two Fatherlands – Armenia and Artsakh, for them to be strong, for our compatriots all over the world, for my family,” the President said. “We are a small state but a great nation. We are great not only with our numbers but also with our history, with our contribution to the world culture.
While visiting different centers of the world, one can always find proofs of our Armenian grandness – in Italy, Venice, Paris, London, the United States, Middle East. But Jerusalem is unique first of all for its unparalleled and distinguished history. People from all over the world visit Jerusalem to learn also about the history of our nation, our religion, and culture. Jerusalem is like a space and time gateway to Armenia because after learning about our culture and church in Jerusalem, the next step is naturally to visit Armenia to familiarize with our people or to find Armenians in the countries where they come from. If they come from Portugal, they will undoubtedly learn about the great input that Galust Gyulbenkian made to that country and its culture by founding a fund and a museum which is unique, one of a kind in Portugal. This is a family which left its traces also here, in Jerusalem.
Armenians spread all over the world, also have world culture and in that context Jerusalem is of particular significance. I believe we need to work together to present our nation, history and especially our culture. You have so much to show the world. Be assured that the Republic of Armenia, the President of Armenia will hold in the focus of their attention this small but important community here. Within the limits of our abilities, we will assist in making our presence in Jerusalem stronger. Assets we have in Jerusalem are exceptional and they belong not only to us but to the world culture.”
The President of Armenia urged the Armenians of Israel to visit Armenia as often as possible.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is the State of Israel on a working visit, met with the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin.
“It’s an honor for me to meet with you in Jerusalem, at the Presidential Palace,” the President of Israel said, welcoming the President of Armenia. “Our peoples are united through a very bloody history. We are very touched and appreciate very much your participation at the historic event to commemorate the Holocaust which is about remembering and passing the history to the next generations. This is also about being united to stop fascism, racism, hatred, antisemitism.
I believe the silence about the events of 1915 resulted in what we had in 1931, 1936, 1942, in what happened during the Holocaust.
Your participation to this special and historic gathering is very significant. We should also look towards the future. I hope that our relations and cooperation will become a base for us to do more.”
President Sarkissian thanked for the invitation to participate at the 5th World Holocaust Forum and said in particular, “I came to Jerusalem with the exactly same thoughts. They are about remembering the past and looking towards the future. I would like to look towards the future because I am confident that collaboration and cooperation between Armenia and Israel, Armenian and Jewish peoples have great potential. First, we share many common values, our historical journeys were also very similar and they continue to be so even today. We are also peoples which between life and death had chosen life. Historically, death was always chasing us but life always was with us. I am here also to see life.
We, together with you and other nations, fought against fascism. I am proud to say that nearly 600,000 Armenians fought in the Soviet Army, 300,000 of them sacrificed their lives in that fight. And this was Armenia being a small part of the Soviet Union. They fought against Nazism, at the same time they fought for their Fatherland. More than one hundred Armenians became the Heroes of the USSR. Armenians brought their contribution to the peace in the world, for Soviet Union; they fought for us all.
I am proud to be here and represent my nation which made a great contribution to that fight.”
Speaking about Israel’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the President of Armenia viewed as important that Israel plays a leading role and recognizes the Armenian Genocide. Underscoring that the recognition and condemnation of this shameful page of history must not be conditioned by political expediency, President Sarkissian said that recognition and condemnation were necessary to never allow it to happen again. As for the prospects of cooperation, Armen Sarkissian noted that the future belongs to modern technologies. The President of Armenia expressed confidence that the two countries could cooperate successfully in this area and he aims to establish close relations with Israel’s technical universities. In this context, President Sarkissian introduced the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Presidential initiative and noted that this multicomponent project strives to bring to Armenia IT and high-tech international companies and research centers to develop artificial intelligence, mathematic modeling, and other areas. He noted that he would be glad along with other partners from technological field to see also Israeli companies, scientific and research institutions.
The parties concurred that potential for cooperation is rather big and it is necessary to work hard, engaging also in the process representatives of the diasporas of the two countries.
The President of Armenia invited the President of Israel to visit Armenia.
In the frame of his working visit to the State of Israel, President Armen Sarkissian visited the Technion Institute of Technology which is ranked among the world’s leading scientific and technological establishments. This is Israel’s oldest university and the only technological institute in the world with an affiliated medical school.
President Sarkissian met with the leadership of the Institute and later had a meeting with students.
The President of the Institute, Professor Uri Sivan said that it was a great honor to host the President of Armenia and a double honor to host a president-scholar.
The President of Armenia thanked for the welcome and noted that he had visited this institution back in 1990s of the last century while working in the area of astrophysics and gravitation. “Universities like this one will become the base of the world’s development,” Armen Sarkissian said.
The President of Armenia noted that the majority of young people today want to create startups and have a company of modern technologies.
“This world is a new startup and each young person has an opportunity to engage in creative work,” the President said. “The world is becoming a place where innovations and ideas become important. Even big companies allocate certain space to innovations and startups. In the 21st century innovations and new ideas are encouraged. This is a new world which is changing very fast. We stand at the crossroad of changes. The changes are impressive and soon will become even more dramatic.”
According to the President, today we are living in a new world, “We all are interconnected just like elementary particles. We communicate with lightning speed and start to manifest the behavior of quantum articles. Today, we all are interconnected and linked, global risks acquire a quantum nature.” President Sarkissian noted that the same is true for politics, “Should scholars one hundred years ago had discovered that the nature is not classical but quantum, we would understand - and I am trying to convey the message - that human behavior is of a quantum nature too. Thus, it will become increasingly difficult to explain human behavior in a classical way. The world too, is gradually becoming quantum. We need to change our logic, change how we make our politics, foreign relations, how we see the future. A lot of things in the new world are unpredictable and if we change our logic and philosophy, it would be possible to understand many things. The quantum world is attractive since it opens great prospects to apply this new logic.”
Speaking of artificial intelligence and its impact on the world, President Sarkissian said that in the process of development of artificial intelligence, the human being is still the most important actor. “If we lost simple human emotions – love, respect, honesty, moral values, there would a hell on this planet. Morals will remain the greatest of all human values,” he noted.
Speaking of cooperation with Armenian universities, President Sarkissian in this context mentioned the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Presidential initiative. “It aims to bring together big international companies working in the areas of artificial intelligence and mathematical modeling, as well as to establish bridges with famous universities. I would like to see this establishment among our partners,” the President of Armenia said.
President Armen Sarkissian also met and conversed with the Armenian students studying at the Technion Institute of Technology.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the State of Israel on a working visit, and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian visited the Saint Nicolas Armenian Church in Jaffa.
The President and his spouse toured the Church compound, lit candles and conversed with the clergy.
The Church was built more than 10 centuries ago. There was a time when Armenian pilgrims made a long trip from Jaffa to Jerusalem, spent a nigh there, and then continued their journey. For that very reason, the Church was named after Saint Nicolas – the patron of pilgrims and sailors.
President Armen Sarkissian, who visited Jerusalem on the occasion of the 5th World Holocaust Forum, gave an exclusive interview to Israel’s public TV channel.
The President of Armenia noted that first and foremost he viewed as his duty to participate at the event dedicated to the horrendous events which took place during WWII, and it was a great honor for him to represent the Armenian people. “I believe to participate to this event was Armenia’s duty, as well as my duty which was passed on me by my grandparents who had survived the Armenian Genocide.
We have gathered here to send a clear-cut message to the world – crimes like this one must never happen again. Sufferings of the people, who were subjected to the Holocaust, memories about them will never die, otherwise it would be the end of the world,” President Sarkissian said.
Responding to the question of a journalist what the President of Armenia feels related to the fact that Israel has not yet recognized the Armenian Genocide, Armen Sarkissian noted that he wouldn’t go into the reasons the Israeli parliament has not recognized the Genocide yet. “I know many Jewish politicians who support the recognition. I see no reason for the parliament of Israel not to recognize the Armenian Genocide. One thing is clear. If the reason is current political interest, political relations, or future political or, maybe, economic interests, it saddens me a lot because the lessons of the Holocaust and Armenian Genocide teach us that there is nothing worth compromising and allowing events like those happen again,” the President of Armenia underscored.
Responding to the question if the President of Armenia was disappointed by the fact that Israel has not recognized yet the Armenian Genocide, President Sarkissian noted that he was a politician who never loses his optimism. “I expect the relations between Armenia and Israel to deepen. We have many things in common. Both are small countries but great nations which have enormous culture. The human history, especially the history of the 20th century contains so many gruesome events, the Armenian Genocide, Holocaust… I believe enough is enough: we need to be more optimistic. We need to work together. I am waiting with optimism that not only all my Jewish friends but also the government of Israel will recognize the Armenian Genocide. After all, recognition is just a step but it’s a step towards the future,” the President of Armenia underlined.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the State of Israel on a working visit, met with a delegation headed by the President of Israel Innovation Authority Amiram Appelbaum.
The Center is assisting the Government of Israel on its initiatives aimed at the development of the country, proposing in particular innovative solutions for the development of environment, renewable energy, digital healthcare, and agriculture.
At the meeting discussed was a wide range of issues related to the opportunities of cooperation in the area of modern technologies. In particular, President Sarkissian introduced the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Presidential Initiative aimed at the development of science and technologies in Armenia. The parties concurred that there are ample opportunities for cooperation in the framework of this project. Amiram Appelbaum underscored that the meeting provided an excellent opportunity to discuss how these two small countries can work together and learn from each other, turning being small into a big advantage.
The President of Armenia in his turn noted that small can be beautiful, strong, and successful. “We can cooperate especially in the areas of science and technologies. Our peoples are successful in these areas,” President Sarkissian said. He expressed hope that the Israel Innovation Authority and ATOM initiative could jointly create values.
The President of Armenia invited Dr. Ami Appelbaum to visit Armenia.
In the framework of his working visit to the State of Israel, President Armen Sarkissian and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian in Jerusalem visited the Rockefeller Archeological Museum and observed an exhibition dedicated to Armenian porcelain recently opened there. The exhibition is organized by a representative of the Balian family, Sedrak Balian. The famous Balian family has been engaged in the production of porcelain for four generations.
Armenian porcelain with its bright colors has become an indivisible part of the Holy City. In a conversation with the President of Armenia, Sedrak Balian told that production of porcelain in Jerusalem started in 1919 when 3 Armenian families, with the help of British, moved to Jerusalem and established a factory. Today, young generations of the family carry on with the Armenian traditions. According to Sedrak Balian, the exhibition opened in Jerusalem tells the story of Armenian porcelain, its role and place in Jerusalem.
Mr. and Mrs. Sarkissian observed the exhibition whose every sample has been made in Jerusalem, spoke about organizing a similar exhibition in Armenia and of the opportunities to bring the art of Armenian porcelain back to Armenia. Sedrak Balian noted that the family would like to bring their experience to the production of porcelain in Armenia too.
In the framework of his working visit to the State of Israel, President Armen Sarkissian met with the CEO of Israir Airlines company Uri Sirkis and Operations Manager Dorit Kalimi.
The interlocutor spoke in particular about cooperation in the area of air traffic, opportunities of the establishment of a regular direct air link between Tel Aviv and Yerevan.