YEREVAN (Armenpress)–As Armenia’s Academy of Sciences opened the conference–"Genocide: Reality and Condemnation," on Monday as one of the events marking the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide–hundreds of participants stood in silence to honor the victims of the Armenian genocide of 1915.
Prime Minister Andranik Margarian welcomed the participants with a message stressing Armenia’s resoluteness–now more than ever–to continue its campaign for international recognition of the Genocide.
Speaking about the creation of a joint Armenian-Turkish commission to study the facts on the Armenian genocide–Margarian said he does not see any sense in such an effort. "We have nothing to prove?the genocide happened," said the Prime Minister.
"My ancestors were the victims of genocide. There are a lot of people in Armenia who learned about the genocide not only through books–but also from their grandparents."
Refusing to offer a prediction on whether Turkey would recognize the Armenian genocide in the next 50 years–Margarian said–"Turkey will change its position under the pressure of the international community and in the process of its membership to the EU–but it is difficult to say when it will happen." He is optimistic–however–that the current government will succeed in establishing diplomatic relations.
Ashot Melikian–director of the Institute of History–said a joint national strategy to push for international recognition of the Genocide is being developed. Commenting on territorial claims to Turkey–Melikian said non-governmental organizations should keep the issue afloat because "it is not expedient for the government to raise it at this point."
On April 20-21–Yerevan will host an international conference on the Genocide–with the participation of researchers–government officials–and other representatives of 20 countries. Journalists of Turkish TRT 1 channel have already arrived in Yerevan to cover April 24 commemorations.
As many countries around the world have had governmen’s–parliamen’s–and other legislative bodies that have officially recognized the Armenian genocide–including Cyprus–Greece–Belgium–Sweden–Vatican City–Italy–France–Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly–European parliament–Switzerland–Uruguay–Argentina–Canada–among others–Prime Minister Margarian stressed the importance of active work by more countries for official recognition. He assured the conference that the Armenian side is actively participating in all international forums dedicated to human rights and democracy.