WASHINGTON (A.W.)—Armenia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edward Nalbandian joined the National Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial (NCAGC) chair and 100 LIVES co-founder, Noubar Afeyan, in a telephone press call on May 7, the Armenian Weekly reports. The two discussed various issues pertaining to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, including the upcoming National Commemoration of the Centennial taking place in Washington D.C. over the next three days.
Nalbandian is currently accompanying Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian on his visit to Washington to participate in the events organized to commemorate the genocide Centennial.
“As a nation, which passed through the horrors of genocide, we feel a deep moral responsibility to raise worldwide awareness and do our utmost to contribute to the prevention of crimes against humanity,” said Nalbandian, adding that “it is in this spirit that Armenians worldwide pay tribute to one and a half million innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide and join their voices to the pledge of ‘never again’.”
Nalbandian also detailed the genocide prevention resolution initiated by Armenia in March in Geneva. On March 27, the UN Human Rights Council adopted by consensus the Genocide Prevention Resolution initiated by Armenia and co-authored by 71 states. Nalbandian stressed that the resolution occupied an important place within the context of the joint prevention efforts of the international community, and defined the primary measures for genocide prevention.
When speaking about Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, the Foreign Minister said that “denial is not opening the door for reconciliation; it opens the door for new crimes against humanity.” Nalbandian then quoted from Pope Francis’ message condemning genocide denial. “Regrettably, instead of comprehending His Holiness’ [Pope Francis’] message, Turkey dared to accuse him of being violent.”
Afeyan then provided details about the National Commemoration, which will take place May 7-9. During those days, thousands will gather in Washington, D.C. and join President Sarkisian, His Holiness Karekin II Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and His Holiness Aram I Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, who will jointly lead the events.
“[The National Commemoration] will provide Armenian Americans, over the next three days, the opportunity to come from all across this country to, first and foremost, remember and honor the memory of those who lost their lives 100 years ago. They will show a spirit of purpose, unity and gratitude, and will raise awareness in Washington and throughout the U.S., as has already been the case around the world,” said Afeyan.