President Serzh Sargsyan met today with heads and representatives of Diaspora organizations who have arrived in Armenia on the occasion of Armenia independence 25th anniversary celebrations.

The meeting was honored by the presence of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I. In attendance were President of RA National Assembly Galust Sahakyan, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan, Chairman of Constitutional Court Gagik Harutyunyan, National Security Council Secretary Armen Gevorgyan, Head of Presidential Staff Vigen Sargsyan, other officials.

The President addressed the meeting with greeting remarks.

During the meeting, a ceremony of redemption of stamps issued on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence was held at the Presidential Palace. President Serzh Sargsyan himself redeemed the stamps titled “25th Anniversary” and “Independence.”

President Serzh Sargsyan’s remarks delivered at the meeting with the heads and representatives of Diaspora organizations

Distinguished President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Bako Sahakyan,

Your Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians,

Your Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia,

Eminent and Reverend Fathers,

Dear Colleagues,

I cordially welcome you to Yerevan. We are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the reinstatement of Armenia’s independence. It is a pleasure to welcome our compatriots from the four quarters of the world who are in the Motherland on this nice occasion.

It is no coincidence that many of you consider it their duty to be at home for this important celebration. During all these years and in all parts of the world, we have felt the presence, solidarity and support of the Diaspora. The restoration of Armenian statehood was an essential objective bridging the Armenia-Artsakh-Diaspora trinity. Over the past twenty-five years, there has been no tactical or strategic issue and a program that could not be discussed and implemented within this trinity.

We have always been realistic; we have managed to clearly assess our possibilities and capabilities. It is just why we were able to achieve the goals we set ourselves.

Even a fleeting glance at the past can evidence our progress. For example, the contribution made to the cause of establishing Armenia’s diplomatic representations by Armenian communities in host countries.

During the first years of independence, no newly independent country used to be represented at summits and high-level meetings with as much dignity as the Republic of Armenia did. And it was due to enormous and often invisible efforts of Diaspora institutions, organizations and individuals. That very spirit and enthusiasm could be seen in the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit our country on the way to independence, as well as throughout the Artsakh war, which immediately followed the declaration of independence.

Duly represented at the most important centers of the world, the opportunity of having friends and bringing the voice of our newly independent State has always filled our hearts with pride; instead it was a cause of envy for those who wished us ill.

Quite recently, just a year ago, we commemorated the memory of the holy martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. The coordinated work of the Armenian State and Diaspora organizations once again proved that we can pursue and realize the most important political goals.

Yerevan acted as a guiding and coordinating hub, but that consistent and comprehensive work would not have been possible without our common political will. This is yet another evidence of what we can do with our collective strength. Indeed, there are many such issues and problems that call for similar approach and result.

Dear Colleagues,

I am proud and happy that you are here to celebrate our long-cherished 25-year jubilee not as a guest but as a host, as a full participant. Today Yerevan hosts numerous field offices of Diaspora organizations; some of you have established headquarters over here.

Here you have your distinguished presence and participation in the economic, social and political life, both academic and media. Your traditionally held youth gatherings, summer camps and summer schools, conferences and forums are gradually moved to Homeland. Here you are setting up modern centers of excellence, schools, universities, which makes of Armenia a real home instead of a simple venue for tourism.

I would like to see all those individuals, groups and institutions that have been the pride of our national colors, the engineers of our independent Armenia, who remain committed to the cause strengthening of our statehood. I would like to see those who have yet to feel the deep joy of homeland discovery.

You are representing the most powerful organizations in the Diaspora, though as often you yourself admit, even the most representative structures fall short of the full potential of all Armenians around the world. I hope it will be on the agenda today, namely how to expand and strengthen the involvement of our compatriots, who can contribute to this sacred cause, especially through the full involvement of the younger generation.

Given your presence in Armenia, I deemed it expedient to call this meeting to take up those issues discussed by the Committee for coordination of the Armenian Genocide 100th anniversary commemorations. I am talking specifically about the development of legal documentation for elimination of Genocide consequences and the idea of setting up a Pan-Armenian Council as envisaged in the Pan-Armenian Declaration.

Naturally, I am ready and consider it necessary to dwell on the processes taking place in Armenia’s domestic life: the implementation of constitutional amendments, the formation of a new government, as well as the upcoming parliamentary elections.

But before that, I want to fulfill a very pleasant task. During the holidays, a number of individuals were conferred upon State awards. I would like to hand the awards to two of them right here. I have signed a decree to award Tigran the Great Medal to NKR President Bako Sahakyan for his undeniable role in the establishment and development of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh.

I would also love to hand to Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, the award stated in last year’s presidential decree. Your Holiness, we very much appreciate your personal contribution to the preservation of the Armenian identity, as well as your commitment to protecting our traditional values. We are very grateful to you. Please let me hand in the award.

I have also signed decrees to decorate the following individuals with State awards: Gagik Haroutunyan, Vazgen Manukyan, Hrant Margaryan, Harut Sassounian and, earlier, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians.

Dear Colleagues,

Reiterating my congratulations, I must stress that this is not but a humble appreciation of the huge work done by you.

Thank you. 

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