Remarks by President Serzh Sargsyan in Deir Ez-Zor

Azg Daily, Armenia
March 25 2010



Your Eminencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am here today since I could not but be here. It is the greatest
grief of my nation that has brought me here, the grief of the first
genocide of the 20th century and the greatest disgrace of the
civilized humanity. Up to this moment, in the 21st century, the stigma
of that disgrace still remains on the foreheads of all those who have
turned the denial of the evident facts into their policy, turned it
into their bargaining chip and into their lifestyle and norm of

In the desert of Deir ez Zor the most monstrous acts of the tragedy
had taken place, and it is neither possible to articulate the
particulars of that tragedy in the language of human beings, nor am I
going do that since these particulars are well-known even to those who
publicly deny the veracity of the Genocide. Bereft of home and
property, bereft of children and parents, bereft of health and the
last hope, and finally bereft of the most important ` their homeland,
these people were doomed to lose the last thing they had ` their life
in accordance with the state orchestrated and meticulously developed
plan of extermination.

Quite often historians and journalists soundly compare Deir ez Zor
with Auschwitz saying that "Deir ez Zor is the Auschwitz of the
Armenians". I think that the chronology forces us to formulate the
facts in a reverse way: "Auschwitz is the Deir ez Zor of the Jews".
Only a generation later the humanity witnessed the Deir ez Zor of the
Jews. Today, as the President of the Republic of Armenia, the homeland
of all Armenians, I am here to ask: "Where and when will be held our

I’m here to commemorate and to pray for the vast majority of my
slaughtered nation that had suffered both physical and cultural
extermination. I will elaborate neither on the quality, nor on the
quantity of the loss. Let me recall a single fact: as a result of the
Genocide the greatest share of the dialects of one of the most ancient
Indo-European languages – the Armenian ` had been irreversibly
eradicated along with its speakers.

In spite of all that happened, we say that we are ready to establish
normal diplomatic relations with the modern Turkey, we are ready to
have open borders and economic relations, we are ready to make efforts
towards building confidence between the peoples of Armenia and Turkey,
we are ready to bring closer the two societies by breaking stereotypes
and myths that have nothing to do with the reality and developed in
decades of dearth of any sensible contacts.

We do this sincerely since we believe that there is no alternative to
the living and development between the neighbors through
implementation of what is proposed and still at the table, at least to
start it up. The signing of the Armenian-Turkish protocols presented
us with an historic opportunity that should have a logical destine.

We, however, do not accept the style of references to the
Armenian-Turkish dialogue in attempts to avoid the recognition of the
Genocide. I do not think it helps the process. Moreover, it is
irrelevant to cite some Commission of Historians, since the
Armenian-Turkish protocols provide for merely a governmental
sub-commission on historic dimension. I assume everyone understands
what it means and what the difference is. I ask all those who will
have an occasion to elaborate or express themselves on the topic of
the recognition of the Armenian Genocide: remember of this desert,
millions of ruined human fortunes and this ancient people deprived of
their motherland and with pain in their hearts, before you make up
your minds.

In 1915 the greatest Armenian poets of the 20th century – 35 years old
Daniel Varuzhan and 37 years old Atom Yarjanian (Siamanto) had also
been slaughtered. Before being tortured to death, they were undressed,
because they wore European clothes. In those times and places European
clothes were quite expensive. The executioners dressed up into the
European clothes – stolen from the Armenian geniuses encompassing
millennia old civilization, stolen from ordinary Armenians.

I would not interpret symbols signified in these images but I am
unequivocally convinced: while preaching European apparel, manners or
values no one has a right to cast these images in oblivion.

I am here to remind of the well-known words: "It is impossible to kill
a nation that does not want to die". We mean to live and to grow. It
is no more possible to intimidate or blackmail us since we have seen
the most horrible. We shall continue to live and create with double
vigor for us and for our innocent victims. We look forward since we
have a lot to say and to share with each other, a lot to say and to
share with the world: the brightness and glow that Daniel Varuzhan and
Atom Yarjanian had no chance to share.

And here, in Deir ez Zor, we firmly and loudly say over and over again
that we are, shall exist and will flourish.