01, 2009

President Serzh Sargsyan met with the representatives of the Armenian-Swiss community

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The President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan met with the representatives of the Armenian-Swiss community at the Zurich Hayat Hotel. This meeting wrapped up President Sargsyan’s visit to Switzerland.


Dear Compatriots,

My warm greetings to you all, I am very happy to be here today.
This kind of meetings and gatherings always serve as an impetus and compel us to work harder on All-Armenian issues. Together with the Diaspora, shoulder to shoulder, we are strong, we feel more powerful in Armenia and, I am confident, you feel the same, knowing that you have Armenia standing behind you.

The Armenian-Swiss community though has problems similar to those of other Armenian communities abroad, is one of the most organized communities. Small in number, you are able to do a great job. The high level of the current Armenian-Swiss relations and especially, recognition by Switzerland of the Armenian Genocide is related mainly to your activities. We are well aware of that in Armenia. It is well-known in Motherland, we are grateful and, of course, happy.

As you may know, I have held a number of meetings in Davos with the world leaders. I want you to know that these meeting were very important, the visit to Switzerland was useful, and the contacts – efficient.

Three days ago, here in Zurich, before leaving for Davos I met with the President of Azerbaijan. We continued negotiations on the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. With this regard Armenia’s position is clear and unequivocal: we must achieve the international recognition of the right of the people of Nagorno Karabakh for self-determination. You can be sure that we pursue no other objective. And tales told by some individuals that because of this or that consideration or giving in to some pressure we will be making unilateral concessions on the NK issue, are not true. We cannot sacrifice our national goal, our common issue for solving secondary issues.

You also know that contacts with the Turkish side continue, and in Davos I met with the Prime Minister of Turkey. After the meeting, we instructed the Ministers of Foreign Affairs to carry on with the negotiations. I think that it is in our interest to establish normal and civilized relations between our two neighboring states without any preconditions. On this issue too I want it to be absolutely clear for everyone: establishment of relations with Turkey does not mean forgoing the Genocide, establishment of relations with Turkey does not mean subordination of our national interests to some other issues. We have stated it before, we are stating it now: to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey without preconditions, to open the borders, to create an intergovernmental commission and after that to discuss any problem present between our countries, our two peoples.

Today, the whole world faces a new challenge – financial and economic crisis. Just like other countries, Armenia is very concerned. Our task is to mitigate to the greatest possible extend the negative consequences of the crisis for our people. Up to now we have been able to preserve financial stability in our country; however it should be clear for everyone that Armenia cannot keep away from global processes. Last year, I mentioned on more than one occasion that our task is to survive the crisis with minimal loses. If we are not able to come out in a better shape than other countries, it means that we are not working well enough, and we cannot agree to working not well enough.

Since Armenia’s independence Switzerland has been providing support to our country in many areas and has given us considerable assistance. Today, our interstate relations are rather active. Greeting in your persons the entire Armenian-Swiss community, I would like to ask you to continue working, to continue doing what you have been doing for years, for decades. However, I would like to ask you to be a little more active, to put more efforts in it. It is not only about the crisis or about the existing problems but also about our wish to have greater achievements in Armenia, greater than we have had for the last seventeen years. And the end result will be depending on each Armenian’s participation in that work. I would like to repeat: participation of every Armenian, not only the citizens of Armenia, because our strength is in our unity. We need unity and unanimity as air and water. National unity is not only a motto; it is the only guarantee of good work and great achievements. Segmentation, disorganization, mutual distrust will not get any nation anywhere. We want our state to register success on every stage of its development, great success, and diversified success.

I am urging all of you to come to Armenia frequently - to come and to see the existing problems and to ponder together over these problems. We are ready to listen to anyone who is wishing Armenia to advance. We are ready to listen to anyone who is doing something in Armenia. We are ready to listen to anyone who is doing something good for Armenia abroad. This is our aspiration, and I am confident that if every Armenian visits Armenia at least once every two years, visits the Motherland, Armenia will flourish. A little math will help prove that it is true. I am hopeful that you will put new energy and will double your efforts on this direction, and will appeal to everyone to visit Armenia every two years. Of course, it is more desirable if you visit Armenia every year. You will see the changes, and you will see that your visits to Armenia contribute to those changes.

Dear Compatriots,

Thank you very much for this meeting and allow me to make a toast: to Armenia and the Armenian people!

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