RA President Serzh Sargsian Meets Young Participants Of Come Home Pr


JULY 31, 2009

any preconditions in the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations,
RA President Serzh Sargsyan noted on July 30 evening at the meeting
in Sevan with Diasporan young Armenians who are in Armenia within
the framework of the Come Home program. Turkey has its role in the
world and in the region but Armenia is also an independent state. RA
President reminded that we live in the 21th century and speaking with
preconditions and rude approach raise opposition. S. Sargsyan also
noted that Armenia did the maximum, expressed good will in spite of
the problems with Turkey, found some power in itself to offer Turkey
to establish diplomatic relations without any preconditions and
open the Armenian-Turkish border. "We negotiated for a whole year,
coordinated two documents, but after that some Turkish authorities
presented as a precondition the Nagorno Karabakh settlement and the
issue of Armenian- Azeri relations," the RA President said.

RA President expressed satisfaction with the meeting with Diasporan
young people, stressing that unlike a great number of his meetings
with representatives of Diasporan communities this meeting took place
in Armenia, which is good. The President attached importance to the
fact that Diasporan young people have an opportunity to see Armenia,
to find out how much the Armenian reality corresponds to their notions,
what is good or bad, which they would like to "import" and what to
"export" to the countries the citizens of which they are. RA President
cleared up that "No one in Armenia, especially I myself, thinks that
we have achieved very great success, that there are no problems,
that the difficult days are behind. No, there are a lot of problems."

Serzh Sargsyan expressed confidence saying that objective people,
nevertheless, should evaluate the things in comparison with each other
and should be optimistic, as without optimism you cannot achieve
any success and do great deeds. The President underlined that "our
grandfathers managed to give us a small Armenia, and we must give
our small but biblical, favorite and very beautiful country to our
children." The President attached importance to the Come Home program,
which gives an opportunity to the Diasporan Armenian young people to
feel Armenian spirit. deal with Armenian history and culture. According
to him, the peculiarity of the Come Home program is that it gives
an opportunity not only to see officials but also the attitude of
Armenian nation towards the Diaspora. 100 Armenian families have
hosted the Diasporan Armenian young people.

S. Sargsyan underlined that Armenia is one without Diaspora
and entirely a different one with Diaspora, which has a great
potential. The time will come when "we will be mighty and I am sure
that you will see it", S. Sargsyan said.

The Diasporan Armenian young people were interested in the question
of being granted citizenship of Armenia, and in response to that
question the RA President noted that no Diasporan Armenian has a
problem of being granted citizenship, not taking into account the
exceptions. Syrian Armenian Suren Rshtuni was interested in the issue
of deepening the Armenian-Syrian relations. The RA President noted
that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has recently visited Armenia
and it is possible that in autumn the RA President will visit some
Arabic countries, including Syria.

RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobian speaking to the reporters
expressed satisfaction that the Come Home program organized by RA
Ministry of Diaspora has been implemented, the visit of 100 people
from Turkey, Georgia, Russia, Syria, Egypt, France ends, the next
group of 100 people will follow them and this will continue till the
end of October, participation of 500 and more young people in the
program is expected. The Minister hopes young people from Lebanon,
USA, Iran and other countries will join the Come Home program.

"The program has a great moral, psychological, political, historical
significance, we have set a task to make the Diaspora known for
Homeland and the Homeland for Diaspora, we have set a task that our
Diasporan children come, live in our Armenian families, get acquainted
with Armenian mode of life, traditions of Armenian families and also
gain friends. We want them to see and admire Mount Ararat, stand on
Armenian land, take power from it, wash their hands in Lake Sevan,
light a candle in the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin and bend down in
front of the Genocide Memorial. I think after all this they will return
to their countries with stronger Armenian spirit to continue the most
important and necessary program of the preservation of Armenian nation,
which is to stay loyal to the Armenian identity, Armenian community,
Armenian church, Armenian state," H. Hakobian said. According to the
Minister, during the visit of all 500 young people 20 mln drams will
be spent.

The Diasporan Armenian young people were very impressed by their visit,
for example, Lilia Sardarian, whose family is in the Ukraine because
of the operations in Karabakh, evaluated the program as a program
of unifying the Armenian young people worldwide and getting to know
their homeland from depth. She was impressed by the lessons which she
had had in Armenia and as a result of which she learnt a lot of things
about Armenia, the history and culture of Armenian nation. The visits
to Armenian places of interest, art monuments were very important in
the issue of getting acquainted with Armenia. L. Sardarian assured
that next year when visiting Armenia she will know Armenian better. She
hopes that next year she will return to Armenia as a coordinator of the
program and will be able to help the RA Ministry of Diaspora in the
organization of the program. She and Egyptian Armenian Levon Apinian
were also very impressed by the meeting with the RA President. L.

Apinian noted that it was his third visit to Armenia, he had not been
in Armenia for over 10 years and during this visit he has discovered
a lot of new things for himself. Returning to Egypt he intends to
tell about his impressions to his contemporaries and to advise them
to follow his example.