GLENDALE, Calif. (Asbarez)—Ahead of the Thanksgiving Day Armenia Fund Telethon, leaders from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh/NKR) delineated the priorities of the republic during a meeting with Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Western United States Central Committee on Nov. 22 at the Peshekerian Center.
Artsakh’s Deputy Prime Minister General Artur Aghabekyan (ARF) was joined by Artsakh Primate Archbishop Parkev Martirosyan, Artsakh Permanent Representative to the U.S. Robert Avetisyan. They were accompanied by Armenia’s Deputy Consul to Los Angeles Razmik Stepanyan.
The ARF Central Committee was represented by its chairman Daron Der Khachadourian, political representative Avedik Izmirlian, as well as Mardig Gaboudian, Carmen Ohanian, Vache Thomassian, and Asbarez English Editor Ara Khachatourian.
Archbishop Martirosyan emphasized the human toll the Four-Day War in April has taken on the people of Artsakh, not only due to the losses suffered by the Army and civilians as a direct result of Azerbaijan’s indiscriminate attack but also because of the disruption of the relative calm in which the citizens lived.
Aghabekyan outlined that the main priorities for the government of Artsakh are currently the refortification of existing trenches, outpost and emergency shelters, the construction and fortification of new facilities, as well as engaging the public in emergency and evacuation processes to ensure the safety of the people. He explained that the amounts raised for the telethon will go toward these public and border safety measures, in the event that Azerbaijan launches another attack.
He also explained that the government has also boosted local production of much-needed amenities such as sleeping bags, rain gear and military uniforms, as well as canned and preserved goods, which are all being produced locally by Artsakh residents and farmers.
The critical aspect of this recalibration by the Artsakh government is meant to guarantee and secure the population’s safety, to discourage people from leaving Artsakh and to resettle the areas, whose residents were forced to flee as a result of direct attacks by Azerbaijan.
Aghabekyan added that Azerbaijan’s continued aggression and sporadic and continued attacks on the border regions, has given the government pause to prioritize the enhancement of security mechanism in the Republic.
He also expressed the government’s appreciation to the ARF Central Committee for its continued and unwavering support of all Artsakh initiatives and expressed hope that in the future these efforts would be further coordinated through dialogue and communication.
Der Khachadourian thanked the delegation and stressed that the ARF Central Committee has directed its rank and file, as well as affiliate organizations to unsparingly participate in the upcoming telethon and also highlighted some of the initiatives that the party has undertaken immediately at the onset of the April attacks.
Der Khachadourian emphasized the critical role played by the Armenian Youth Federation’s “With Our Soldiers” campaign, which instantly mobilized to collect funds that have been delivered to the families of the fallen soldiers. Through the same effort, 2,000 sleeping bags were also sent to Artsakh in the aftermath of the war.
The ARF Central Committee chairman also announced that the upcoming celebration of the party’s 126th anniversary would be completely dedicated to Artsakh, its liberation struggle, as well as the heroic resilience of its people.