YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)– Defense Minister Vazgen Sargssian and Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian–the co-chairmen of the steering committee assigned by the government to lead the Armenia-Diaspora conference scheduled for September 1999–released a statement last week:. The translated text of the statement appears below. Dear compatriots,
Armenia’s President Robert Kocharian attaches paramount importance to bringing the Armenia-Diaspora relationship to a new qualitative level. Joint discussions of national problems and solutions to these problems achieved through cooperative efforts can only be brought about by the will of the entire nation.
Paying tribute to all national–communal and secular structures and the Church for their patriotic mission–we should mention that the time and historical realities of today require new approaches.
What has been done by the state and different organizations ever since Armenia gained independence is neither satisfactory nor systematized–falls short of contemporary requiremen’s in dealing with national problems and does not correspond to our potential. The need for uniting all creative forces of our people–realizing common national aspirations and developing and giving effect to a coordinated scheme to realize those aspirations is being widely acknowledged among all sections of the Armenian people today.
Only common will–unity and joint responsibility can ensure a secure existence–development and prosperity for the Armenian nation into the new millennium.
Today the independent Armenian state desperately needs comprehensive–targeted assistance from its compatriots living abroad. Meanwhile–each Diasporan Armenian needs to feel the support of his native country.
To realize these goals–Armenia has taken the initiative to convoke a pan-Armenian conference to bear the responsibility of taking the approrpiate decisions. The governmental committee will see to organizational matters and preparations only–widely involving secular structures–the Church–individuals from Armenia–Karabakh and the Diaspora.
The package of draft proposals to be sumbitted to the conference for discussion is being finalized now and will soon be presented to all Diasporan communities. The governmental committee would appreciate and discuss every proposal worth considering.
Intermediate meetings are scheduled to be held in Europe and the United States before the conference is convoked to discuss the issue. The agenda of a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the All Armenian Fund "Hayastan" scheduled for April 1999 is being drawn up now.
Dear compatriots–brothers and sisters–we have a lofty goal and our task is ripe and clear. On the threshold of the 21st century–at this crucial moment in the history of the Armenian people–we have a chance to unite our spiritual–financial and intellectual potential in the name of the realization of national goals.
Don’t let us lose the opportunity.