Aram I Appeals to Sarkisian on Protocols

ANTELLIAS, Lebanon—His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, on Sept. 21 sent a letter to President Serge Sarkisian expressing his concerns over the Turkey-Armenia protocols and urging the president to engage the entire Armenian nation in this critical pan-national issue.

In his extensive letter, the Catholicos outlined the threats the protocols bring to the veracity of the Armenian Genocide and the Karabagh conflict resolution process.

Aram I pointed out that the very existence of the diaspora is a direct result of the genocide and was forced upon the Armenian nation.

“The recognition of and reparations for the Armenian Genocide are part of our national struggle. Thus it is imperative to approach the matter carefully and with the great deal of sensitivity,” wrote the Catholicos, warning that the genocide issue cannot be part of the negotiation process, as it is a known fact.

“In a set of conditions, Turkey is likely to pressure Armenia. Ankara will pursue to expunge the memory of 1.5 million slaughtered Armenians,” he wrote, urging the president and his administration to have a firm position on the genocide.

The Catholicos also expressed his deep concern about the negative consequences of the protocols on the fragile Karabagh conflict resolution process. He urged the president to ensure that the Turkey-Armenia normalization does not adversely impact the process.

He also said that the matter of normalized relations should be discussed nationally and that a solution to confront the challenges facing the nation should be given by Armenia, Karabagh, and the diaspora in unison.

1 Comment

  1. Hye,
    Over the years, I’ve heard any number of unfair attacks on the Cilician See.

    Some personal, some partisan, some downright silly.  Nearly all have had their history wrong and their facts biased to suit any one of many pre-existing prejudices that pepper our community landscape.  One of the most patently, and transparently, ridiculous is that we don’t need a Cilicia because we have Etchmiadzin.  This argument reflects a profound ignorance of both our history and our Church’s unique role in the life of our nation.

    Beyond the history and all the other compelling reasons why Cilicia should, and will, remain a vital institution of our Church and nation, there are reasons why, today, Cilicia remains crucial to our survival as a nation.

    The best recent example of this is the powerful and principled stand that Aram I of Antelias has taken against the one-sided Turkey-Armenia protocols.  His stand, as any observer can see, stands in stark contrast to the message coming from Etchmiadzin, which represents little more than a weak echo of the capitulation and surrender being advanced by the regime in Yerevan.  This distinction illustrates the incalculable value of the Armenian Church maintaining a strong, moral voice, even when circumstances in the homeland make such a stand by our Church leaders there impossible.  Antelias, in this case, is the strong brother, again, carrying the burden of the family forward when his sibling has faltered.  This strength should be celebrated, not attacked for petty partisan purposes.


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