While the Armenian people in Armenia, Artsakh and the diaspora face among the most difficult and fateful days of their modern history, disturbing news of a serious crisis has arisen from one of the historical centers of faith of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
This news which shocked the Armenian world concerns the rental of the Armenian national property called the Cows’ Garden, in the old city of Jerusalem, and probably other properties. Its ill-fated contract, signed for a period of 99 years, has already been the subject of turmoil for some time now.
Given the politically delicate aspect of Jerusalem’s status in general, this lease issue has crossed over from being solely an Armenian concern to one that reverberates on regional and international state levels. Let us recall that its signing was immediately followed by an expression of concern and anger by the Palestinian authorities, conveyed to the attention of the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin.
In this already difficult situation, the Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian National Authority have proclaimed most recently that they have decided to withdraw their recognition of the patriarchal status of Archbishop Nourhan Manougian, the current Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem.
The Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (ADL) Press Council held an urgent meeting to discuss this alarming state of affairs. Hakob Asatryan, the editor-in-chief of the well-known magazine Orer from Prague (Czech Republic) who was recently in Jerusalem on a journalistic mission, was present at this meeting as a guest.
The participants of the meeting found it important at this stage to:
A. Distance themselves from irresponsible journalism that further aggravates the situation without verifying the facts.
B. Adopt a restrained and objective approach to the problem.
C. Consider in this very sensitive moment that making accusations does not provide any benefits, and so approach the problem accordingly, keeping in mind Armenian pan-national interests in general and the interests of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and its Brotherhood of Saint James, as well as the dwindling Armenian community of Jerusalem in particular.
D. Ensure pan-Armenian unification and the assumption of collective responsibility in order to get out of the crisis with minimal losses.
E. After all this is done, it will be necessary to undertake a very serious investigation in order to reveal all the actors of this deeply irresponsible crime and subject them to appropriate sanctions.
Finally, the ADL Press Council confirmed its responsible commitment to closely follow the situation and make the public aware of developing events.
We are confident that this most complex situation will soon enter a phase of desired resolution.
ADL Press Council
May 18, 2023