10, 2009

President Serzh Sargsyan met with the representatives of the West coast and Latin American major Armenian communities

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On the next leg of his Pan-Armenian tour, on October 4 at the Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles President Serzh Sargsyan met with the representatives of the West coast and Latin American major Armenian communities, organizations and structures to discuss the process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations.

Like in the other meetings that have taken place in the framework of the tour, the President of Armenia made opening remarks in which he spoke in detail about the process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and initialed protocols, opportunities provided by these documents, existing worries and concerns, listened to the views of those present, and answered their questions.

Participants to the meeting welcomed the President’s initiative to hear out the views of our sisters and brothers in Diaspora on this crucial issue and give first hand information. Stressed was the importance of precise reflection of all the information and views provided by the President of Armenia to the members of the organizations represented at the meeting, as well as all to our brothers and sisters in Diaspora.

Speaking about the Armenian-Turkish political dialogue, the President of Armenia noted that negotiations with Turkey have been conducted since Armenia’s independence and only recently they became public. Serzh Sargsyan stressed that for any negotiations it is important not only to have an untiring will to achieve the set objectives but also consider the timing and overall situation in which they are being conducted. He also expressed confidence that the timing and the situation were favorable for the Armenian side for achieving our goals. Speaking about the initialed protocols, President Sargsyan said, “Yes, I believe that it is possible to conduct normal negotiations, to have normal relations with Turkey and not to lose anything in the course, on the contrary – to gain benefits.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, in the honor of the President of Armenia the AGBU gave a reception at the Hilton Hotel, which was attended by more than 500 representatives of the major Armenian communities of the West coast and Latin American countries. Before the reception started, flags of the Republic of Armenia, the United States of America and state of California were brought into the hall and national anthems of the two countries were played.
Addressing our brothers and sisters from Diaspora attending the reception, the President of Armenia said,
“Most Eminent Fathers, Dear Compatriots, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I greet you all and express my gratitude for the opportunity to spend this evening together.
Today, we have conducted rather efficient and important discussions, scrutinized the current stage of the Armenian-Turkish relations, looked into the perspectives, and reiterated our long-term national goals. This is the third leg of my Pan-Armenian tour and the third round of discussions, which is attended by the Armenians from the West coast of the United States and Latin American countries.
One of the reasons that currently there are more than 120 hyphened words which start with “Armenian” - Armenian-American, Armenian-Brazilian, Armenian-Argentinean, etc. is Turkey - Turkey of the 19th and 20th centuries. But the pain, the pain of lost love, lost family, and lost home cannot be counted in years… Yet, today we still do not see any remorse; on the contrary we see defiance and denial. We see hollow hopes that our voices will wither with time. It is not going to happen. Our pain is too deep, our losses are inconsolable. Our voice will not be silenced. Our spirit is unbendable. All of this is true. But we also have some things which diminish. Qualms regarding our own abilities present a huge impediment.

In this hall and all over the world we are united by our common dreams and Armenia’s destiny which is linked directly to the destiny of the world-spread Armenian nation. Our thoughts, worries, sometime anguish and outbursts, heated debates and calm discussions, silent work and protest manifestations have one common goal – to see Armenia stronger, more beautiful, and more prosperous, to see the Armenian nation more united and organized. We are united not only by our roots but also by our national aspirations.

Future Armenia will be the Armenia we aspire for, intend for and start working for today. Alexander Tamanian was dreaming about, designing and started to build the capital of all Armenians – Yerevan. The subsequent generations lived in the city of Tamanian’s dreams. The time unavoidably makes corrections but I want to repeat that we lived in that city. We are having the same situation today. Our future country will be the way we see her in our minds. To achieve it, it is necessary to have the same vision and belief that Tamanian had, regarding his and the entire nation’s future. I have come to also renew our trust in our own strength and our future.”

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