10, 2009

President Serzh Sargsyan continues his Pan-Armenian tour

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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.

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