YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–The 30th World Congress of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation convened Wednesday at Armenia’s government building with high-level government officials, political party and organizational representatives in attendance.
Armenia’s Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian led the governmental delegation, which included former foreign minister Vartan Oskanian, representatives of the governing coalition, as well as representatives of non-governmental political parties and organizations.
ARF Supreme Council of Armenia chairman Armen Rustamian addressed the gathered following the singing of the National and ARF anthems. He announced that 30 organizational regions of the ARF from around the world were being represented.
Also present were ARF leaders from the various Armenian regions, the Diaspora, as well as representatives of the Armenian Relief Society, Homenetmen and other affiliate organizations.
The World Congress, which will continue its activities in Tsaghkadzor in closed session, will put forth the ARF activities for the coming four years and assess the party’s activities of the past four. It will culminate in the election of a Bureau, which will govern the party’s activities.
Rustamian pointed out that this was the third World Congress to convene in Armenia’since its independence and reminded that the party’s highest body was to convene there in 1992, but its leader Hrair Maroukian was expelled by a presidential decree for being a “Citizen of Greece,” forcing the party for reschedule and change the venue of that Congress.
Armenian presidential advisor Manuk Topuzian presented President Serzh Sarksian’s message to the Congress.
“The ARF has traditionally had its unique role in the political life of both the homeland and the Diaspora as a political force whose history is closely interrelated with contemporary Armenian history, our peoples’ struggle for liberation, recognition of historical justice, preservation of the Armenian national identity and the process of modern-day heroic liberation struggles,” said Sarkisian in his message.
“Being one of our traditional parties, the ARF managed to reestablish itself in the homeland, raising the culture of political struggle to a new qualitative level. As a party represented in the Parliament, today it is part of the coalition, bringing its important contribution to the stability and development of our country,” added Sarkisian.
In his remarks, Prime Mninister Sargsyan said that the ARF as a partner in the ruling coalition has assumed its share of responsibilities for the advancement and development of the country.
"The coalition government has come to implement changes under the country’s political leadership. People’s expectations give us an historical opportunity to jointly undertake unprecedented projects. We are inviting you to use this historic moment and become an active participant of this program and we will ensure all the necessary conditions for it," added the prime minister.
In closing the first session, ARF Bureau chairman Hrant Markarian addressed the Congress and those gathered by discussing the recent presidential elections.
“By participating in the presidential elections with its own candidate the ARF decided to be a true alternative. We were an alternative both for the opposition and the authorities. We came into the landscape to promote the interests of the people. We were confident that our participation would be an additional impetus to the democratization of the country and an improvement of the electoral process," said Markarian.
“What happened in the country [in the wake of the election] was an attempt at a color revolution. Under our noses there was formed an organized mechanism or, as they like to say, a network similar to [the ones created in] other states: Georgia, Serbia, Ukraine. It was formed with foreign orders and funding.”
Markarian spoke of an unspecified world power that “seeks to subordinate the causes of all peoples to its interests and aims” by means of “various international NGOs and foundations. The network was formed by the foreign power. The opposition presidential candidate [Ter-Petrosian] was placed and dressed on the network.”
Markarian further charged that the former Armenian president is primarily responsible for the March 1 clashes in Yerevan between riot police and his supporters
“March 1 was beneficial for neither the country, nor for the people or the government,” he said. “It was beneficial only for [Ter-Petrosian,] and unfortunately he got it. Those who still believe him must think about that–especially the youth.”
Markarian said that Ter-Petrosian “didn’t come to wage a program-based and ideological struggle. Rallying the headless opposition masses around him, he created an atmosphere in which ethical norms of struggle gave way to destruction, slander, hatred and demagoguery.”
The ARF Bureau chairman also touched on other issues, such the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process, the right of the Javakh Armenia’s in Georgia’s Samtskhe-Javakheti region, as well as the ongoing political activities in Europe, the US and the Western world.
“We are the organization for the Armenian people. We do not set our own agenda. The people set the agenda for us. We are a state-political party in the Republic of Armenia, and a national-liberation party elsewhere. In one place place we engage in lobbying, in other places, we work to preserve the Armenian identity and culture. There are no contradictions here: these are sum of our whole. This is what makes the ARF different from others,” said Markarian.
“The Armenian Revolutionary Federation is the organization of the Armenian people. Decisive. Responsible. Victorious,” concluded Markarian.
Excerpts from Prime Minister Sargsyan’s Address to the ARF World Congress
On behalf of Government of the Republic of Armenia and myself, I welcome the World Congress of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, and wish it a productive and successful fruition in the name of the homeland and for the betterment of all Armenia’s.
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation is one of the parties of the ruling political coalition and has assumed its share of responsibility for the country’s progress.
Our political leaders have posed the issue of solving the problems Armenia faces to the Government. These issues include poverty, unequal opportunities for competition, corruption, shadow economy, the unhealthy moral-psychological atmosphere, the partition of the society, among others.
A qualitatively new situation has been formed in Armenia. Under the political leadership of the President of the Republic of Armenia, the coalition government has come to implement changes. The expectations of the people provide us with an historic opportunity to work together to accomplish unprecedented programs.
We invite you to make use of the historic opportunity to become an active participant of the implementation of these programs, and we shall provide for all necessary conditions for that participation.
This year is of special importance for any of us. In a few days we shall celebrate the anniversary of the heroic battles of May and the 90th anniversary of establishment of the First Republic of Armenia.
I’m confident; that the political conviction will be demonstrated to build an "Armenian World" like the Armenian Revolutionary Federation did in 1918 when it established the First Republic of Armenia.
Asbarez will feature the complete text of Prime Minister Sargsyan’s message in future edition.
President’s Message to the ARF World Congress
YEREVAN (Armenpress)–President Serzh Sarkisian conveyed his message to the Armenian Revolutionary Federation World Congress through his adviser Manuk Topusyan. Below are excerpts from that message:
I greet the delegates and the guests of the World Congress of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
The ARF has traditionally had its unique role in the political life of both the homeland and the Diaspora as a political force whose history is closely interrelated with contemporary Armenian history, our peoples’ struggle for liberation, recognition of historical justice, preservation of the Armenian national identity and the process of modern-day heroic liberation struggles.
Being one of our traditional parties, the ARF managed to reestablish itself in the homeland, raising the culture of political struggle to a new qualitative level. As a party represented in the Parliament, today it is part of the coalition, bringing its important contribution to the stability and development of our country.
Today our country faces two major problems, the solutions for which require the unification of efforts of the entire Armenian nation, and every individual and organization concerned with the fate of the homeland has a role in overcoming these challenges. We must modernize the political arena and economy, restore public trust, regain the international image of the country, provide a better impetus to Armenia-Diaspora ties and reach a peaceful a resolution to the Karabakh issue.
These problems are resolvable and require collective hard work, clarity of views and purposes.
I hope that together with our reliable partner–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–we will build a more democratic, stong and resolute state.