Remarks by the NKR Representative Vardan Barseghian at the ANCA's 9th "Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide Observance."
For Immediate Release ~ April 9, 2003
Contact: NKR Office Staff
WASHINGTON, DC - Dear Friends, I want to thanks the Armenian National Committee for organizing this event and for inviting me to speak today. On behalf of my government, I would like to commend the ANC for its competent work in Washington D.C. It is also thanks to the ANC's efforts that the members of U.S. Congress know about Armenia and Karabakh and are standing ready to defend our rights and interests.
On April 24th the Armenians and our friends around the world commemorate the solemn anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. I would like to express my deepest sympathy to all the survivors of the Armenian Genocide.
The entire Armenian nation is, in fact, a survivor of the Genocide of 1915-1923. It is because of our strong faith and spirit that we are still here today with our history, culture and language. We are here today with an independent Republic of Armenia, a vibrant Armenian Diaspora around the world and a victorious Karabakh. And we are educating the world about what happened to us and we are rallying support to pursue justice. And, most importantly, we will do all that is in our powers to ensure that a similar tragedy does not befall Armenians or any other nation ever again.
The legislature of this most powerful democracy in the world has a moral responsibility to properly characterize Ottoman Turkey's genocidal actions and we thank our congressional friends for their tireless efforts to bring this issue to its successful, final resolution. The Armenian Diaspora in the United States must continue working closely with its elected officials to achieve proper recognition of the Armenian Genocide, a goal of universal value.
Unfortunately, the "era of genocides" still continues. Race extermination has recently been attempted in former Yugoslavia, in Rwanda and in Karabakh. The international community has until now failed to provide effective mechanisms for prevention of such crimes. One reason for this is that there was no proper recognition of what happened to the Armenian nation in 1915-1923. The perpetrators suffered no consequence. And the unpunished crimes of the past continue to inspire new perpetrators.
While counting, first of all, on our ability to defend ourselves, as we did in Karabakh during Azerbaijani military aggression of 1991-1994, we also look to those who share our vision that such actions should be properly condemned, and in the future - prevented.
Official Baku continues to threaten Nagorno Karabakh with new military aggression. We urge the U.S. Congress to closely monitor U.S. military assistance to Azerbaijan so that it is not used against Armenia and Karabakh thereby destabilizing the entire region.
In addition, we ask the U.S. Congress to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Nagorno Karabakh to meet critical needs such as housing, health care, water and sanitation, land mine clearance and also to ensure that Nagorno Karabakh is included in regional development projects.
Armenia, Karabakh and our friends in the United States and around the world have an immense responsibility to the present and future generations of Armenians to ensure that the genocidal actions of Ottoman Turkey and Azerbaijan are never again repeated.
Today, as we pay tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide we must also do what is necessary to prevent any future genocide.
On behalf of the Government and people of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic I would like to thank all of you for supporting this critical effort.