Address by President Serzh Sargsyan on remembrance day of Armenian Genocide victims

Dear compatriots,

Today we bow to the memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide. One and a half million Armenians fell prey to such a crime which did not have a name at that time. Nor had a human language coined such an expression or a term yet. They were killed simply because they were Armenians. The crime designed minutely and in advance pursued a clear goal: to take possession of the home country, the property and the millennium-old heritage by exterminating the native people living there. By this they committed a monstrous crime seeking to once and forever annihilate Armenians as a political factor.

Today, nearly a hundred years after the Genocide, it is obvious that we as a nation were not ready to undergo those hardships neither psychologically nor in terms of an organization degree. Up until now, all the parts of Armenian people and all generations have known what the outcomes of the Genocide feel like. It is true. However, the reality is that we have built our state and today, in contrast to the past, we are ready to confront such calamities both psychologically and in terms of an organization degree especially in our homeland. Nowhere in the world is as safe for an Armenian as it is under the auspices of his own state.

Dear compatriots,

The 24th of April is just a symbolic date: it is clear that the Armenian Genocide was not initiated and put an end in one day. Moreover, it is alive as far as the successor of the Ottoman Turkey continues its policy of utter denial. We are convinced that the denial of a crime constitutes the direct continuation of that very crime. Only recognition and condemnation can prevent the repetition of such crimes in the future.

Today, we stand on the threshold of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. This can afford Turkey a good chance to repent and to set aside the historical stigma in case if they make efforts to set free their state’s future from this heavy burden.

At the same time, I publicly reaffirm: we do not consider the Turkish society as our enemy. Bowing to the memory of the innocent victims we remember all those Turks, Turkish families who lent a helping hand to their Armenian neighbors, friends being annihilated by the barbarians and helped numerous Armenian children escape from the clutches of the mob. God bless the memories of those who gave plenty of our compatriots a helping hand by risking even their and their families’ lives. Every society including Turks should be proud of their ancestors who rescued lives and threw down the gauntlet to the Genocide. We remember this.

We express our gratitude to all the countries and peoples who granted asylum to our compatriots having had a narrow escape from the Genocide. Armenian people will remember this forever. Our sisters and brothers have kept showing their gratitude for decades by becoming devoted citizens of those hospitable countries.

Today, the Armenians of Syria have got into trouble. This is our open wound and the issue of our primary concern. We do our best to re-establish peace for Syrian people and our compatriots of Syria.

Dear compatriots,

We are approaching the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with a straightening back, open-faced and having a state whose name is the Republic of Armenia. It is the homeland of entire Armenians who despite the decade-old illegal blockade and the “neither war nor peace” reality continue to make progress.

The year 2015 should convey a strong message to Turkey. The attitude toward Armenia can no longer be measured by words because it presumes clear steps: the opening of the closed borders and the establishment of normal relations. Our position on the Armenian-Turkish protocols has not changed and the idea of “reasonable terms” is becoming more urgent than ever.

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