Երկուշաբթի, 20. 05. 2024

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Speech of the Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia, H.E. Dr. Hranush Hakobian at the Evening of Gratitude hosted by the Armenian Embassy in Lebanon

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear guests, gathered,

Allow me to thank you for accepting our invitation today to honor this symbolic and memorable event with your presence.

It is a pleasure for me to have the opportunity to be in Lebanon once again – a country which is like a homeland for many Armenians. We, Armenians, will always remember with gratitude the support provided by the Lebanese people when the major part of the Armenians living and creating on their lands were massacred and deprived of their homeland due to the crime perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish government. The Arab World in the face of friendly, hospitable and tolerant, countries like Lebanon, Syria and Egypt became the landmark where many Armenians were saved and sheltered. Armenian were able to settle, get back on their feet, become actively involved and integrated into the political, socio-economic and cultural life of those hospitable countries, they became devoted citizens of and managed to preserve their rich national culture and identity at the same time.

At this moment, we express our gratitude to all the states, as well as religious, international and non-governmental organizations that had the political courage to recognize and condemn the Armenian Genocide as a horrible crime against humanity and continue to take legal steps to prevent the dangers of denial. I would like to cite the following statement which the President of the Republic of Armenia made at the prestigious United Nations General Assembly:

“Thank you Uruguay, Lebanon, France and Russia!

Thank you Vatican, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden!

Thank you Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Greece, Slovakia and Cyprus!

Thank you Argentina, Venezuela, Chile, Canada and Bolivia!

Thank you for the recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, regardless of the format and language adopted.”

I thank all those personalities, state bodies, territorial units and organizations from the U.S., European Union and in numerous countries who publicly recognize the Armenian Genocide. Recently, the European People’s Party adopted a resolution which was an important step against denial of the crime of genocide and a pillar for neutralizing the ideas for new crimes.

Our nation remembers with deep respect and gratitude the friendly missionaries, humanists and other goodwill people who were serving in the Ottoman Empire during those years. They often risked their lives by saving Armenians displaced and driven to death in the deserts of Syria. They also left invaluable testimonies and created orphanages for the children having escaped the Turkish yataghan (sword).

It is a pain to see how modern Turkey does not spare any effort to distort, deny and falsify the reality at the international level. I am certain that the day will come when Turkey will also recognize the Armenian Genocide.  The processes taking place in that country – the country is facing “identity crisis”, people are starting to learn their real history, while Armenians will no longer be silent and will constantly claim the restitution of their rights as individuals, as a community and as a nation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

After 100 years, we, as a nation, interpret the slogan “I Remember and Demand” in the following way:

We remember our 1.5 million martyrs that fell victim to the Turkish policy!

We remember and remind the world about the horror of genocide!

We remember the tragedy that the families of every Armenian, Greek or people of other nationalities have experienced!

We remember every statue, monument, church, school and cross-stone that has been subject to cultural genocide!

We remember every piece of the lost homeland of our ancestors!

We also state that

We have won the death!

We have won the policy of the Ottoman Turkey!-“They wanted to leave only one Armenian and that one to be in a museum”

We have overcome all kinds of trials and tribulations.

As a nation, with our friends

We are fighting against injustice!

We are fighting for justice!

We are fighting to make sure genocide never happens in any corner of the globe again!

We are fighting for Turkey to recognize its past!

We are fighting for the restitution of our rights as individuals, as a community and as a nation!

We are building a free, independent and democratic state, regardless of the fact that Turkey and Azerbaijan have been keeping our country in a blockade for nearly 25 years now!

We want the Armenian people to have a bright future.

Distinguished guests,

Let me once again express my gratitude and appreciation for your presence at this symbolic and memorable event.

We should not only say never again”, but also stay true to our word and act together to prevent future genocides.

Thank you, Շնորհակալություն

March 13, 2015

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