04, 2013

Toast by the President of the Republic of Armenia Mr Serzh Sargsyan at the dinner in honour of the guests participating at the inauguration ceremony

Your Holiness,
Dear friends,

I express my profound gratitude to you for arriving in Yerevan and participating in the ceremony of my inauguration. I perceive a great import in our friends sharing with us today the joy of one of the important events in the twenty-two ears of revived Armenian statehood.

One of the better-known adages of civilization stipulates that there exist no permanent enemies or permanent friends, only permanent interests. I fully endorse the first premise: hostility between reasonable people shall indeed not be eternal. Neither am I so naïve as to underrate the latter statement regarding interests. But I am a believer in lasting friendship. I believe in friendship between people, nations, states, and countries. One should not look far for evidence; it is there, in the pages of our nation’s history.

I am confident that the missionaries who had saved Armenian orphans a hundred years ago and the philanthropist who, a quarter of a century ago, held out a helping hand in the wake of the disastrous earthquake, share common origins. A country official who provided asylum a century ago to my compatriots surviving extinction, and a guest from that very country sitting in this stateroom, celebrating with us yet another milestone in strengthening our revived statehood, do feed from the same system of values, based upon love of fellow men and friendship. And I am certain, provided the Earth remains on its axis, that our progeny shall continue to live by the same values and share the same friendship. This is incumbent upon each one of us, and even more so, upon the statesmen, since this is the covenant our forefathers handed over to us, for us to pass to our progeny.

Your presence also comes to attest, in a way, to the fact that our foreign policy is on the proper track.

I deliberately refrain from mentioning names and countries, alliances and associations. Instead, let me assure you that we shall continue to remain faithful and reliable for all our partners throughout the world: be it in the North, West, South or East.

We shall also remain faithful to our policy towards ill-disposed nations: always ready to find peaceful, negotiated and reasonable solutions, always ready to offer conciliation, but also continually prepared to defend both our quiet and security, and that of our sisters and brethren of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh.

I am confident that there exists no alternative to peaceful, negotiated solution to disputes. The Armenian side does not favor prerequisites, urges none, and neither does it accept any. Moreover, we shall not fall into the devastating trap of responding to threats with threats. We desire peace, since we are confident in our strength. The steps we are taking provide testimony to this attitude and policy of ours.

Armenia is grateful to the co-chair countries of the OSCE Minsk Group for their persistent efforts in the unrelenting search for a way towards a peaceful resolution to the struggle of the people of Nagorno Karabagh for self-determination.

We shall proceed with our program of reforming our country, making it safer, more competitive and democratic, ensuring the rule of law and full respect for human rights. In case of Armenia this course has no alternative, since this is what our people demand and expect, this is what arises from its values.

The forthcoming five years shall be the years of struggle for a freer, safer and more thriving Armenia. We shall implement the bold economic and social programs that we had to stall because of the global financial crisis.

We shall deepen our involvement in regional and international processes and participate in bringing forth new formats. The Armenian economy must integrate into global markets, be competitive and attractive for investment.

Hereafter, like before, Armenia shall come up with its modest and dignified contribution to international peacekeeping efforts, struggle against social depravity, and prevention of genocides.

I hope that, like before, we shall be doing all this through the support of and close interaction with our partner states.

In our initiatives we strongly rely on the creative potential and work ethics of our people. Armenia’s offspring have distinguished themselves all over the world with these qualities that have ensured their success in various countries. Being good citizens of their countries, they have keenly contributed to and keep participating in the development of their historical homeland of Armenia, thus doubling our strength.

We shall enjoy a unique opportunity through these coming years to elevate the development of our state to a new level, turn Armenia into a country, making friends with which, besides being respectable, will also yield great benefits.

Dear friends,

I reiterate my gratitude for your participation in these events and propose to raise our glasses to friendship between our peoples!

May the Lord protect our peoples and our friendship!

Thank you.


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