Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   20 January

Secular and spiritual leaders of Armenia and Artsakh address joint call to people on the eve of April 24

YEREVAN, APRIL 23, ARMENPRESS. By the proposal of President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, a meeting was held in the Presidential Palace on April 23 which was attended by His Holiness Garegin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, President of the Republic of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan, Armenia’s Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, Speaker of the Parliament Ara Babloyan, First Deputy Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan and Chairman of the Public Council Vazgen Manukyan.

The recent inner-political situation in Armenia was discussed during the meeting. The meeting participants expressed their concerns over these events and made a joint call addressed to the people, urging to jointly pay tribute to the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims on April 24, an important day for the Armenian people.

At the beginning of the meeting President Armen Sarkissian said:

“Your Holiness, dear Mr. President of Artsakh, Mr. Prime Minister, dear colleagues, thank you for responding to my request to hold this meeting. Tomorrow is April 24, a sacred day for our people. A day which for over 100 years our people have celebrated as the Armenian Genocide commemoration and our national tragedy day. But these days are heated as protests are being held in different parts of the country, the Yerevan city is concerned. Yes, these are mostly peaceful protests, but this tense situation is also explosive. Of course, each of us has made calls addressed both to the people, the leadership, and the police so that we can fully maintain the peaceful situation, peaceful protests and peaceful reaction to these demonstrations.

But tomorrow is April 24, and each of us must understand and assess the sensitivity, the importance of the situation and the moment. It is the day when Armenians, no matter how they are, no matter what political view each of us has, calm or anxiety, we cannot endanger that day, that sacred day.

Therefore I asked you to meet in order to once again call all our compatriots in Armenia, Artsakh and Diaspora to jointly pay tribute to the memory of our victims on April 24. A day when two Armenians have no right to raise hands on each other. A day when a drop of blood of an Armenian should not be shed. A day when the whole world watches us. If we do not manage to gather on that day, April 24, regardless of all our differences, we will cause huge damage to us, our history and people.

Therefore, I have invited you to this meeting so that we can agree to address a call to all our compatriots abroad and in the homeland to put aside all our differences, opinions by one day, to be united on that sacred day and across our national fight and after that, perhaps starting from April 25, again to start solving our issues.

And these issues, as I have repeatedly stated, have one solution – dialogue, negotiations”, Armen Sarkissian said.

“I think not only each of us, but each Armenian must do everything to prevent any stain on the April 24, not only tomorrow, but always in general. Therefore, we will do everything to be able to pay tribute to the memory of our victims on that day”, Serzh Sargsyan said.

“I believe that April 24 is a sacred day for the sons of our people. And for decades we visited the Tsitsernakaberd, the Genocide memorial with a prayer bringing our blessing to their memory”, His Holiness Garegin II said.

“Dear Mr. President,

I and the people of Artsakh welcome your initiative, and  I am more than convinced that our people will adequately perceive this initiative and will show the necessary attitude”, President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan said.

Speaker of the Parliament Ara Babloyan in his turn noted that starting from today they should move forward this proposal.

Chairman of the Public Council Vazgen Manukyan said all disagreements, all issues must put aside on that day and the April 24 should be properly held.

First deputy PM Karen Karapetyan expressed confidence that the people will understand this proposal. He expressed hope that they will find a solution.

President Armen Sarkissian thanked the meeting participants for the opinions voiced and supporting his proposal.

English translator/editor – Aneta Harutyunyan




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