Armenia marks sad anniversary of 1915 genocide-Kocharyan

ITAR-TASS News Agency
April 24, 2004 Saturday 5:32 AM Eastern Time

Armenia marks sad anniversary of 1915 genocide-Kocharyan

By Tigran Liloyan


Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said on Saturday that Armenia was
ready to build normal relations with all the countries of the region,
including Turkey, on the occasion of the day of memory of the victims
of the genocide of the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire on
April 24, 1915.

“Like in all the previous years on April 24 we are confirming our
will to raise above the feelings of rancour and revenge. Our efforts
are aimed at achieving durable peace, stability and cooperation in
the region and we are ready to play an active and constructive role
in this process,” Kocharyan said.

The Armenian leader recalled that a people with great cultural
heritage and material values which the Armenian civilization had
accumulated over thousands of years was subject to physical
extermination in the Ottoman empire under a state program and with
the use of state structures 89 years ago.

“Today when we are bowing our heads in memory of millions of innocent
victims, we publicly reaffirm our determination to seek comprehensive
and unanimous recognition and condemnation of this crime against
humanity on the part of the world community,” Kocharyan went on to

He is convinced that “unpunished crimes can cause new atrocities.”

“The task of the world community is to exert every effort to prevent
a repeat of such phenomena in future,” the Armenian president

The president and all Armenian statesmen laid a wreath at the
memorial to 1.5 million victims of the 1915 genocide on Saturday
morning. They observed a minute of silence in their memory. The
monument was erected in Yerevan’s park “Tsitsernakaberd” in 1967.