Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   19 January

Armenian PM’s spouse addresses peace call to NK conflicting parties

STEPANAKERT, OCTOBER 8, ARMENPRESS. Accompanied by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s spouse Anna Hakobyan, representatives of Russia’s public, political, literary and media sectors visited Artsakh within the framework of the Women For Peace campaign.

"Dear, respected guests,

Logically, I, certainly must begin by thanking you for being here now, in Nagorno Karabakh, essentially in a war zone, moreover in the frontline.

But I cannot allow myself to say thank you to you, because what you have done was above any kind of thanks. You have come and reached the Karabakh frontline from Russia to say no to war, and in addition, each of you has the kind of biography that I consider myself very small to even thank you.

When nearly two months ago I signaled the Women For Peace initiative in Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery, I presented its meaning and goals and said that in order to make your voice more heard I would be better to voice it from the war zone, standing next to soldiers. But at that time I wasn’t even sure that this goal will be possible to be realized, given that how many obstacles exist on its way. But now were are here, which was possible only due to your high motherly and human sense and great courage.

What are we saying? We are calling on the parties and mediator countries involved in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict to spare the lives of the 18-20 year old Armenian and Azerbaijani soldiers standing on this and the opposite sides of the border, not to make their parents and children sorrowful, not to play with the fates of hundreds of families, to reject the military solution of the conflict and seek the issue’s settlement exclusively around the negotiations table.

We are calling on Azerbaijani women and mothers to join this campaign and address the same call on political decision-makers. However, in Azerbaijan they don’t yet hurry to take this kind of step, which is truly strange. Does this mean that the mothers are indifferent for the lives of their sons there? Certainly not, such a thing cannot be. The reactions coming from Azerbaijan prove that they are simply approaching this initiative with distrust, and are seeking different political subtexts underneath it, and not only aren’t they joining this campaign, but they are also trying to refrain others from doing so.

But in order for everything to be clear, I would like to once again emphasize – we are not speaking about the origin of the conflict, or the options of its solution, we are with pleasure ceding this hard work to men, but we are confidently urging them – to spare the lives of Armenian and Azerbaijani young people in this process and not to increase the ‘mothers in black’ armies on both sides.

For nearly 30 years now the conflict isn’t being solved, dozens of soldiers are killed on both sides of the border every year, and in April of 2016 hundreds were killed. And what do we have as a result? Did the solution of the issue get closer for at least one centimeter?

Of course not. From both sides we have interrupted young or not young lives, sorrowful families, mothers in black and a conflict, which is the same point it was a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago. And will anyone benefit if it were to continue for another thirty years, hasn’t time changed the arrangement of things and thought of a new thing?

On the other side of the border they have fears that the visit of the Russian women to the Karabakh-Azerbaijan border from the Armenian side means to support the stance of the Armenian side. I would like to once again stress that the Women For Peace campaign doesn’t seek to enter the content settlement dimension. It seeks to exclusively protect the lives of both Armenian and Azerbaijani young people. And in order for misinterpretations not to happen in this issue, I suggest you also visit the opposite side of the line of contact and make the same call from there too.

I understand that this is difficult, that you are busy women, that it was difficult to reach here, but if we will be able to save the life of even one eighteen year old….

I am also informed that in this period you have been under pressure, and the fact that you overcome and didn’t give in to these pressures deserves great respect. And I would like to hope that in the same way we will overcome the ban on appearing on the other side of the border and will be able to convey it from that side of the border.

About pressures: I am informed, If I am not mistaken, I apologize that one of the women working at the Russian PTP channel also wanted to join this campaign but her superiors did not allow her. This, certainly is strange. It is also strange that Mir TV channel, Sputnik news did not allow their creative groups to visit and cover this visit. Overall, not a single Russian media outlet reacted and isn’t here now to follow this visit of very famous women in Russian social circles, when the message of these women is peace.

This is strange, because when war began in this same area in April of 2016, it was widely covered by Armenian, Russian, Azerbaijani and other foreign news media. The horror images of war remained on TV screens and pages of electronic and printed press. But here, the event which seeks the prevention of these wars, did not cause such interest. I understand that a possible new war will too bring sensational materials with itself, victims, decapitated bodies, scattered bodies, and the news media will engage in a fierce competition to report these images the first from the scene. But I would like to remind us all, that behind these sensational and exclusive images are human lives, distorted fates, sorrowful mothers and children.

I would like to simply call on the news media to revise their priorities and carry out their professional duty equally in the event of both the cruel loss of human lives as well as in case of efforts aimed at saving these lives.

After all, seemingly there is no lack of sensations based on human sorrow in the world.

Dear guests, I want you to know, that you are the first who was in the Karabakh conflict zone with a peace call. And with this step you inspired me to continue the campaign with greater efforts. And I am sure that the common voice of the women and mothers can’t not have its effect, and I believe that all bullets of the world will melt down before the cosmic love of mothers. For example, they will transform into the kind of jewelry that I am wearing now. The jewelry I am currently wearing is made out of melted bullets,” she said.

Women who join Women For Peace, a campaign led by Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan’s spouse Anna Hakobyan, will receive ornaments made our of melted bullets.

Anna Hakobyan announced the initiative at a visit to the frontline in Artsakh, adding that the jewelry will become the symbol of the Women For Peace campaign.

“It turns out there is a craftsman in Yerevan who is making jewelry out of melted bullets. I didn’t know this, I only found out about this recently. I thought that these will become the symbol of the Women For Peace campaign, and any woman, who will join the campaign, will receive this kind of an ornament,” she said.

She said that “all bullets of the world will melt down before the cosmic love of mothers”.

“This means that the more women join the campaign, the more bullets will disappear from the world, the more bullets will lose their initial designation and will become simply jewelry, and this in turn means that that many lives will be possible to be saved. This, certainly, is a language of symbols, but not distant from reality,” Hakobyan said.

Anna Hakobyan announced the campaign on July 24 in Moscow.

Today, on October 7, President of Artsakh Bako Sahakyan received the participants of the campaign, who also visited the frontline.


Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan



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