Serzh Sargsyan Meets With Journalists From Diaspora


OCTOBER 18, 2010

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met October 16 with journalist from
Diaspora who gathered to participated in the Pan-Armenian forum of
journalists held in Spepanakert October 12-16.

Presidential press office told Armenpress that the president delivered
a speech at the opening that runs as follows:

“First, allow me to congratulate you all on today’s holiday. Today is
Armenian Press Day, and I am happy that it coincides with the festive
events going on in Syunik marz.

Dear Compatriots, Marvelous views and unique historic sites, which you
have seen in Artsakh and here in Syunik, undoubtedly have impressed
you and back in your home countries you will work with renewed energy
and inspiration. But regardless of your job, we are always happy to
see our brothers and sisters from Spyurk in our common homeland. I
didn’t say “host” you because you are not guests, welcome to homeland,
welcome to Motherland.

I view the 5th All-Armenian Journalists Conference entitled “Challenges
of the 21st Century: Information Security and Armenian Journalism” and
held in the capital of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic as an important
initiative and thank you all for bringing to life that wonderful idea.

It is no secret, that the role of the mass media in all ongoing world
processes is crucial, particularly the journalist profession. In the
21st century, precise and timely information has become a powerful
weapon: its pinpointed application may become decisive for the course
of events. From this point of view in all our activities, aimed at
the realization of national goals, we attach utmost importance to
the Armenian-language journalism and to the publications by our
journalists in the world’s leading mass media. The role of the
Armenian journalism is greatly stipulated also by the necessity to
assist in addressing national issues, particularly, for the task of
the world-wide preservation of the Armenian identity.

Journalistic mission is indispensable for the establishment,
strengthening and development of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh –
second Armenian state – as well as for its international recognition.

It should be not forgotten that victories won on the battle fields
must be enforced by the victories on the diplomatic arena. At the
same time, the role of the Armenian and Diaspora mass media, as
well as publications by the Armenian journalists in foreign media
is essential for withstanding adversary propaganda and introduction
of the issue to the international community. The conference held in
Stepanakert presented an excellent opportunity to thoroughly study
Artsakh, to learn it from inside, to comprehend Artsakh’s problem and
appreciate the worries of the people of Artsakh. I am confident that
you will write many pages and create numerous stories on this account.

Further progress in the process of international recognition of the
Armenian Genocide can also be expedited only through the increased
involvement of media. Mass media can considerably promote just and
fair resolution of the Armenian Cause and efficient organization of
lobbying activities.

It is also apparent that the media outlets working in Diaspora bring
significant input to the task of preservation of the Armenian identity,
preservation and dissemination of national culture. We still have a
lot to do for the creation of the common All-Armenian information
field, for addressing existing problems and withstanding emerging
challenges. I am sure that you have had fruitful discussions on these
issues in the past days and have adopted appropriate decisions.

Dear Journalists, You are doing a great and gratifying job. I
understand all too well that to publish, preserve and disseminate
Armenian periodicals in foreign countries requires great sacrifice;
it also means to become organizers and leaders of community life,
to engage in the preservation and spread of our amazing mother
tongue, hold on to the Armenian identity and Armenian spirit, to have
individual profile, national roots, Armenian mentality and eventually
to become safeguards of spiritual, historical and cultural heritage
of different parts of our nation, promoters of national values,
re-inventors of national traditions and facilitators of national

We are aware of all the difficulties you face, problems that emerge
every day. Those are problems which are first of all related to the
challenges that Armenian communities come across in Spyurk; however
there are also problems that should be and could be solved through
our joint efforts, in close cooperation with the Armenian government.

We are also inspired to see that new Armenian outlets emerge in
different parts of the world, including those are being published
in foreign languages. This is a nice tendency indeed. We need to get
stronger on the international information field – both qualitatively
and quantitatively. We counter and will continue to counter lies and
falsifications and black propaganda subsidized with the petromoney of
our neighbor with our world-wide human potential, and we will prevail
because lies and falsifications don’t get far.

We don’t have to persuade ourselves that the international recognition
of Artsakh’s right for self-determination has no alternative. But
foreigners do need truthful and unbiased information. We don’t have
to beautify reality in Artsakh or the Republic of Armenia; however
we should be able to prevent picturing everything black. Neither
beautification, nor blackening – simply present the existing reality –
this is the task that we have to complete together.

Indeed, anti-Armenian fascism is getting momentum in Azerbaijan; it is
being executed purposefully and on the highest level. It is not about
individual crooks or sick persons suffering from nationalism who can
be neglected. We are speaking about the state ideology, according to
which “contemporary Armenia was created on historical Azeri land.”

That is to say, not only Artsakh but also Yerevan, Sevan, Saint
Echmiadzin are “historical Azeri lands.” Hence, according to this
logic and in this context, Artsakh becomes a part of so called
“historical Azerbaijani lands.” Last time, we ‘learned’ about it
yesterday, from the President of Azerbaijan himself.

Why this extreme jingoistic position has been articulated particularly
now? Azerbaijan is staggered and infuriated that the international
community and the Presidents of the Co-Chair states publicly recognize
the right of the people of Artsakh for self-determination. Moreover,
free expression of will of the people of Artsakh regarding the
political status of Nagorno Karabakh and its results must have
binding legal consequences for all parties. This is the very reason
for Azerbaijan’s desperate convulsions. They have not prepared their
own people for such outcome, and judging from their rhetoric, are
not going to.

It is quite clear that the resolution of Artsakh’s problem must be
found exclusively through peaceful negotiations. Today, the entire
world rules out military solutions, and only Azerbaijan, according to
their own words, “does not exclude military solution of the problem.”

Is this assertion for internal use only? Probably. But what good does
it make to the internal consumers of this assertion, i.e. to the people
of Azerbaijan or foreign investors? In Azerbaijan academic humanitarian
sciences have become the generators of bellicose proclamations. It’s
hard to tell where science ends and puppet show starts.

In case of Artsakh, the “argument” is set forth that some of
local toponyms are Azerbaijani (they could at least say ‘Turkish’
or ‘Persian’) and not Armenian. How a settlement could have an
Azerbaijani name 200-300 years ago? An entire generation, which
tomorrow “shall heroically liberate historical Azerbaijani land”, was
educated on this kind of ‘scientific arguments’. That generation will
not be allowed to learn that the Armenian toponym for the region –
Artsakh was evidenced back in VIII century BC, evidenced by Sarduri
II, the son of the founder of Yerevan King Argishti I; and that in I
century BC, it was known to the foreign geographers, as Strabon puts
it, as “Artsakh province of Armenia,” which had the largest cavalry
forces; and that modern Stepanakert was built on the grounds of the
Armenian settlement Varakan established in the V century; and that
it is a genuine Armenian name which means “Squirmy brook”; and that
for centuries the population of the area was homogeneous, populated
exclusively by Armenians, which is confirmed also by the 18th century
official Turkish sources. Only in the second half of the 18th century,
negligible amount of Turkic Muslim nomadic tribes settled here, whose
total number at the beginning of the last century hardly reached
five percent of the entire population. That generation will never
learn that in thousands historical manuscripts, which narrate about
Artsakh and its courageous people, word “Azerbaijan” does not exist,
couldn’t exist. That word appeared for the first time ever only a
hundred years ago, I repeat – only a hundred years ago.

Moreover, in one of his statements, the President of Azerbaijan says
that toponym Stepankert exists only because of the name of the “bandit”
Stepan Shahumian. One day, the generation which is going “to liberate
Azerbaijani land” will turn to its leaders and ask – shouldn’t the
student of one of the most prestigious Moscow Universities have been
aware of the fact that at the same time the leader of Azerbaijan Heidar
Alieyv, accompanied by the storm of applause, voiced the following
thought that “the noble personality of Stepan Shahumian is an inspiring
example for all generations of Azerbaijani workers”, “And today we
state proudly and lovingly (the then leader of Azerbaijan was speaking
on behalf of the people of Azerbaijan) that Stepan Shahumian is also
the son of the Azerbaijani people.” That’s what Heidar Alieyv said.

Sick fantasies resulted in claiming that Christian churches of Artsakh
– Amaras, Gandzasar, are Azerbaijani. Furthermore, they were the first
in the world to adopt Christianity. To Turkey they present their new
slogan “One nation, two states”, i.e. the Turks and the Azeris are
the same people living in two states. Five minutes later, Azeris claim
that they are not Turks, or rather were not Turks: used to be Aghvans,
used to write books which didn’t reach present days because all those
manuscripts were burned by the Armenians; they were Aghvans and built
masterpieces of Christian architecture that were expropriated by the
Armenians, and finally they changed their language and became Turks.

Later, world’s first Christian-Aghvan-Azeris changed their faith and
became the most faithful Muslims of the world. Simultaneously, they are
promoting the idea that they are direct descendants of the Mar people,
who spoke Persian, and are lawful owners of Iran’s Atrpatakan region.

Switch of languages, nationalities and beliefs is their own business;
but manifestations of anti-Armenian fascism are our business.

Azerbaijan unleashed the war, and was defeated in that war; Azerbaijan
asked for truce (including from the Commander of Karabakh’s forces) and
later started to sob about the dire repercussions of that war. As if
wars ever bring pleasant repercussions. And on top of that, Azerbaijan
adopted conceited stance and started to make demands as if anywhere
in the world defeated aggressors are ever allowed to make demands.

To save their faces, Azeris are resorting to quasi-rhetoric that the
Armenians won the war with the assistance of another country. No
surprise here, how else can they explain the crushing defeat from
a small number of Armenians? But they still have no guts to state
officially what country or countries they talk about. Spell it. Spell
it, so that it can be proved by the facts that you’re lying. What
keeps you silent? Now they have decided that Armenia cannot exist on
her own and has no future. They feed themselves with these fairytales
and got really stunned that the world has quite a different view on
a number of issues.

In conclusion, I would like to share with you results of a study
recently conducted by the scientists. A large group of genetics and
linguists, all of them non-Armenians, has conducted an intricate
and lengthy research. According to the latest results, the Armenian
language is at least 8000 years old. It means that as a nation we have
been around for the last 8000 years. During those 8000 years many
have been trying to teach us things from the position of a larger
territory, a larger population, and a larger purse. It’s true that
at some points they were able to weaken us, but today the absolute
majority of them are extinct; they left the stage of history. As for
us, we continue our way, calm and confident because we have things
to do for the next 8000 years at least.

Thank you, and welcome to Motherland.”

From: A. Papazian

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