Armenia-Diaspora Conference Kicks Off in Yerevan

A scene from Armenia-Diaspora Conference

Armenia Diaspora Conference kicks off (Photo: Office of the President of the Republic of Armenia)

YEREVAN—With the participation of more than 1,800 from 71 countries, the sixth Armenia-Diaspora Conference kicked off on Monday at the Karen Demirchyan Sports Complex. The conference entitled, “Mutual Confidence, Unity, and Responsibility,” will address topics such as national security, defense, foreign policy and economic development.

Following welcoming remarks by Armenia’s Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakopyan, the opening ceremony included remarks by President Serzh Sarkisian, Artsakh President Bako Sahakian, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians and His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.

In his remarks, Sarkisian discussed the Karabakh conflict, saying that Azerbaijan’s anti-Armenian and xenophobic policies force Armenia to harden its approach toward mutual concessions. He also urged Diaspora Armenians to resettle in the homeland, reiterating his pledge to increase Armenia’s population by 2020. Soon after the opening ceremony, Sarkisian left for New York where he will be speaking at the United Nations General Assembly.

In his remarks, President Sahakian highlighted the strategic importance of the items on the conference agenda, saying that a collective approach to the challenges facing the Armenian homeland would be more beneficial.

Catholicos Karekin II said that each Armenian is a soldier and servant of the homeland and urged unity in confronting the challenges facing the homeland.

It was Catholicos Aram I, however, whose message touched on some of the critical realities of Homeland-Diaspora relations.

“We are at a critical crossroads of our history. Let us be realistic and honest. Armenia is emptying, and the Diaspora is wearing out. In the face of this dangerous reality, random initiatives cannot solve our troubles and heal our wounds. The signs of the time must be read correctly, the diagnosis must be made accurately, and the appropriate decisions and effective remedies must be applied properly,” said Catholicos Aram I during his remarks.

While large delegations arrived in Armenia from Russia, the United States, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Australia, Turkey, and Artsakh, representatives from Malaysia, Japan, Mexico and Sudan are also participating in the event for the first time. Representatives of the Armenian Diaspora organizations of Belgium, USA, Russia, Argentina, Lebanon, Portugal, Canada, Iran, Romania, the United Arab Emirates, and Syria will make presentations.

Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament representing the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) is also participating the conference and will be a panelist in a session to be held Tuesday. He said that he was proud to be in Armenia as a member of the Turkish parliament

The conference will feature several panels focusing on the development of Armenia, the foreign policy agenda, security and defense and issues of preservation of Armenian identity and will include experts from Armenia and Diaspora who will be addressing the two-day conference.

During Monday’s session Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan, Artsakh Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan and Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau’s political representative and the leader of the party’s parliamentary faction, Armen Rustamyan, addressed the conference.


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  1. Serop said:

    Meanwhile the corrupt leaders in Armenia continue to oppress our people, line their own pockets and make promises that are not worth the paper they are written on.
    1) Grant full Citizenship to all Armenians in the diaspora that wish to become citizens
    2) Draft and implement laws to make sure all sitting politicians DO NOT engage in any business activity that benefits them or the families & relatives
    The Clan Like practices still continue in strength in Armenia, children of poweful politicians kill people and avoid jail
    Relatives of the head of Armenian Church drive Bentleys and no one is dared to question
    Children of Armenian polioticians buy millions in properties in USA while 80% of Armenians live on the poverty line in Armenia
    WE need change and we need it soon, before history repeats itself and we become again a failed state

  2. Serop said:

    I have no faith in the corrupt leaders of Armenia or the Godless Karekin Corrupt 11
    These vile and corrupt people are again destroying our homeland and driving Armenians out of their own nations while they LINE THEIR pockets.
    Unless action is taken soon, only 80 year old Grandfathers & Grandmothers will left in Armenia

  3. Dr.Hermon Mihranian said:

    Open letter to the Yervan Government. The Armenian authoritise must grant citizenship to all Armenians living in the diaspora without any restriction. Such a move will have a great impact. Dr. Hermon Mihranian

    • Robert Assarian said:

      Your statement is unrealistic. Certain restrictions are important. Criminals should not be allowed to become citizens and people who can not prove Armenian decent should stay out. I became a citizen recently and it was a very smooth process.

  4. Robert Davidian said:

    During the diaspora conference in Armenia to attract diasporans to move to Armenia, the criminal regime arrests four diasporan Armenians who moved to Armenia! They now join their father as political prisoners in Armenia!

    Armenia’s criminal regime has just destroyed any possibility of diasporans moving to Armenia. Their arrest of diasporans outside the diaspora conference who were exercising their right to hand out flyers about the criminal regime’s growing number of political prisoners, and all the Internet coverage reaching the diaspora, will cement the diaspora’s image of an Armenia without rule-of-law – a place where diasporans are in danger of harassment, arrest, a mock trial and lengthy jail time as long as the criminal regime is allowed to remain in power.