The commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial was a momentous and remarkable success worldwide and in Armenia. A great deal was accomplished—from the Pope’s acknowledgement and the historical Mass held at the Vatican, to the statement made by the President of Germany , the resolutions adopted by the legislative bodies of several countries, as well as many political and nongovernmental organizations. We also saw expansive coverage of the genocide by the world media, even by some media outlets that previously seemed to subscribe to the denialist camp.
In Armenia, the commemoration ceremonies and tributes to the victims of the genocide on April 24 were impressive, dignified, and gratifying. The presence of the presidents of Russia, France, Cyprus and Serbia deeply touched us all. There were numerous delegations from other countries.
Though much was accomplished, we still have a long way to go, as we continue to face serious challenges and threats.
After the vigor and enthusiasm that accompanied the Centennial commemorations, we must continue being actively engaged in our causes.
The peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict continues to be a most critical issue facing Armenia and Artsakh. Azerbaijan continues its aggressive policy, increasing its transgressions and provocative actions on the border and Line of Contact. The Azeri government continues the excessive accumulation of arms, expansion of its military budget, and Baku openly continues to make threats of renewed military hostilities.
Turkey continues its policy of denial of the Armenian Genocide. It continues with the illegal blockade of the borders. Turkey is in the midst of an election the results of which are difficult to predict. It is entangled in a mess with NATO and Europe in relation to its other neighbors, Iraq and Syria, over ISIS and Kurdish rebels.
During the past few weeks, the Armenian Weekly has published several articles about the Royce-Engel letter addressed to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group co-chairs. The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern and Western Regions have sent numerous alerts to their activists, asking to encourage members of the House of Representatives to cosign the Royce-Engel letter.
In the current circumstances, we must show our Armenian will, soul, and determination. This is a critical issue. Hopefully it will be impactful and yield the outcome that is expected. It will bring peace to our borders, safety to the people who live in the areas near the border, and reduce the heavy financial burden Armenia now carries in defending its borders.
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