ANTELIAS, Lebanon (News.am)—Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I issued a statement on Monday, August 15, referring to the recent developments in Yerevan. The statement can be read below.
“It is with great sorrow and indignation that we watched the recent events in Armenia. Considering that it is the first occasion of issuing my precept to our people […] I’d like to express some of my concerns and also make certain reminders.
First of all, I’d like to stress that the Diaspora cannot be in the passive state of a mere listener and observer in issues of concern and challenges to Armenia and Artsakh. No. The Diaspora has a say and work to carry out.
On the eve of its 25th anniversary of independence, Armenia faces serious challenges. Therefore, it is necessary to be sensible, realistic and vigilant, keeping away from the failure to notice the past and positions of seeing everything in pink and unrealistic colors.
If decay becomes a usual phenomenon, people’s indignation rises and the migration continues at the same rate, the foundations of Armenia’s statehood may become shattered.
If the internal unity of our people, which is the guarantor of our nation’s and homeland’s strength, weakens, the mutual confidence between the people and authorities will decline, and Armenia may face unforeseeable and insurmountable troubles.
The moment of self-criticism has come, and this should be done in a sincere and realistic manner. It is time to make practical steps today for tomorrow will be late.
We have no right to keep the people stuck in the silt of poverty: The economic crisis will become a source of any kind of evil.
We have no right to make Armenia a country which sways in the waves of disorder: Armenia is a state with its Constitution and laws.
We have no right to have murky and ambiguous positions on the issue of Artsakh, which regained its independence at the expense of great sacrifice: This can endanger the independence of Artsakh.
The geopolitical changes taking place in the Middle East and Caucasus and new formations of interstate interests, which can be harmful to Armenia and Artsakh, must be looked upon and assessed properly, adopting relevant position, combining our diplomacy with the strong spirit and firm will of our people.
The pains of our homeland and people must be diagnosed correctly and quickly. And instead of merely removing the syndromes, we should have wisdom and courage to heal our wounds and console our pains by joint efforts.
We should refrain from any kind of violence and polarization, regardless of their motives. It is totally unacceptable for the blood of an Armenian to be shed in Yerevan. Armenian’s blood can be shed only on the holy path of defending Armenia and Artsakh.
We should keep away from a diverging mentality and actions between Armenia and Diaspora, as well as people and authorities. We are one nation with a single homeland, single past, present and future.
It is only with deep recognition and full commitment that we can strengthen our homeland. Armenia, Artsakh and Armenian community are beyond anything. This shouldn’t become a mere motto, but a guiding principle in the life of every Armenian and the entire Armenian nation.”