North American Prelates call for end to Artsakh blockade

Western Prelate Bishop Torkom Donoyan hosted his Eastern U.S. and Canadian counterparts, Archbishop Anoushavan Tanielian and Archbishop Papken Tcharian, at the Western Prelacy headquarters on Wednesday, at which time the three religious leaders issued a joint announcement call for an immediate end to Azerbaijan’s blockade of Artsakh, which began on December 12 when the Lachin Corridor—the only road connection Artsakh to Armenia—was closed to traffic, Asbarez reports.

Below is the text of the announcement signed by the three prelates.

Following a declaration by His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, with this letter, we appeal to all facets of Armenians in North America to support the 120,000 Armenian Artsakh and 120,000, among who there are elderly, children and disabled individuals.

Especially during these difficult days, when Armenians of Artsakh are facing a life-and-death situation, the “road of life” connecting Artsakh Armenians to Armenia—the Lachin Corridor—remains closed.

We must create a conducive atmosphere for our beloved people of Artsakh to live and call the international community’s attention in an effort to strengthen Armenia’s statehood and guide the people of Artsakh from this current crisis, by calling for the opening of the Lachin Corridor, as it is the only road for humanitarian supplies entering the region.

May our gifts during this season be our fraternal, united and strong hand to be able to pull Artsakh and the Artsakh Armenians out of the current crisis created by Azerbaijan.

The three prelates met Wednesday to mark the 60th anniversary of the Cilicia Catholicosate’s entry into North America, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Western Prelacy.

With the recent conclusion of the World National Representative Assembly in Antelias last week, the North American prelates also discussed programs and projects aimed at attracting the young generation of Armenians in the activities of the church.

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