Interviews and press conferences
President Sarkissian’s message to Turkish President Erdogan: Forgiveness comes after Recognition
On October 23, President Armen Sarkissian gave an interview to the Swiss Public TV and Radio station (RTS). The company has published excerpts from the interview.
“On the eve of November 11 ceremonial events, which will gather the leaders of multiple states to commemorate the World War I, President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian hopes that the event will become an opportunity to “recognize” or “remember genocide suffered by Armenians in 1915-1916.”
“I don’t even know how one can speak about World War I without referring to the tragedy which happened 105 years ago, without speaking of the Genocide. Recognition or appeal on behalf of the state leaders will be highly appreciated by me, Armenia, and the entire Armenian nation,” President Armen Sarkissian told the RTS.
“The recognition of the Armenian Genocide is not just a recognition of a tragedy which concerns one nation only. First of all, it was the first, the greatest genocide of the 20th century. Since it was not prevented, was not recognized and condemned, later in the 20th century genocides were committed again,” the President went on.
His message to Erdogan, “Forgiveness comes after recognition”
Regarding his message to the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Armen Sarkissian says that he is ready for a dialogue and refers to his Christian scruples. He doesn’t rule out that one day there will be forgiveness, but “forgiveness comes after recognition.” He believed that the forgiveness will have a larger historic scope because the Armenian Genocide “was the first Genocide of the 20th century.”
“First of all, I would say, Hello, Mr. President, how are you. I believe we together have an issue to discuss. You’re the President of Turkey, I am the President of Armenia. My family, my ancestors were from Erzrum, Van, and Bitlis. My family has an old history. Let’s talk about relations between Turkey and Armenia, let’s talk about our personal stories. We need to talk not only about history but also about the future: The future of your and my children, the future of our grandchildren, about our two nations.” I am a Christian, and Christianity teaches that there is always a chance for forgiveness but forgiveness comes only after recognition,” the President of Armenia said.
“Next year, we together with Macron will organize a big concert in Paris dedicated to Aznavour”
President of Armenia informs that he reached an agreement with Emmanuel Macron to organize a big charity concert dedicated to the memory of Charles Aznavour, “Most probably, in October 2019.” “There will be many singers and artists,” the President says and recalls that they sung from Aznavour with Emmanuel and Bridget Macron. “Emmanuel Macron and myself, together with our spouses visited the Charles Aznavour museum and residence. I offered President Macron to organize in one year a big charity concert in Paris, to remember Charles Aznavour. It will be a charity concert, and world-famous artists and singers will be invited.”
In the interview with the RTS, the President of Armenia spoke also of Armenia’s flexibility: “Our country is young and is located between the West and the East,” he said.