Eastern Prelacy Issues Statement on ‘Dialogue’

NEW YORK–The Executive Council of the Eastern US and Canada Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church issued a statement Wednesday regarding the formation in July of the so-called Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission. The Prelacy announcement clearly stated that "official recognition of the [Armenian] Genocide must be a pre-condition to any dialogue and reconciliation with Turkey." Below is the text of that announcement.

We learned through the press the formation of the "Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission," which consists of six Turkish members and four Armenian members from Armenia–Russia–and the United States. This Commission is being called upon to direct a Turkish-Armenian dialogue for reconciliation without considering the Armenian Genocide.

Forgiveness is a basic tenet and foundation of our Christian faith and the Armenian Church. Reconciliation and co-existence between individuals and groups is one of the goals of the Church. However–forgiveness can be granted only to those who acknowledge and accept their transgressions and confront their creator with their sins and ask for expiation.

With this understanding–we announce the following:

The official recognition of the Genocide must be a pre-condition to any dialogue and reconciliation with Turkey. Until such time–any attempt to establish dialogue with Turkey will be detrimental to the accomplishmen’s thus far toward international recognition of the Genocide. We must not give Turkey–or other powers seeking benefits–the opportunity to put into the question the memory of our martyrs and create new splits within the children of our nation. The memory of our more than one and one-half million martyrs compels us to remain faithful to their memory–and be united and unanimous in our efforts to perpetuate their memory. We should spare no efforts so that prior to forgiveness the perpetrators will accept their guilt and pay reparations to save the world and humanity from similar disasters.

Executive Council–Armenian Apostolic Church of America–Eastern United States and Canada

August 28–2001

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