On the occasion of the 19th Anniversary of the Independence of Armenia, Mr. Mher Mkrtumyan, First Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Abu Dhabi, delivered a speech on 29th September 2010 in the Armenian Center in Sharjah, in the presence of HE Ambassador Vahagn Melikian, Father Aram Deyirmendjian, parish priest of UAE Armenians, members of the Diocesan and National Councils and compatriots.
Mkrtumyan thanked the attendants for the unique opportunity to share with them his thoughts about the independence and wished to have an active dialogue after his speech.
Here are parts of the speech:
To have an independent Armenia, has been the dream of our people for many centuries. Living in a geographically difficult location, in the middle of strong regional powers we managed eventually to gain independence, although many nations in the regions like Kurds, Assyrians, Turkomans, etc., are still deprived of such status. Having an independent and strong state is the only mean to ensure the security and prosperity of own people.
As one of the 15 republics of the Soviet Union almost no one of us imagined that in the foreseeable future Armenia would become an independent state and the Armenian nation would be able to decide its own future.
The independence of Armenia has been achieved with great suffering but with the help of God. If you recall, during the last years of the Soviet Union the Karabakh movement started, followed by the devastating earthquake and the military operations on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. As if this was not enough, the energy crisis followed, caused by the Turkish blockade. The social situation deteriorated. The Armenian nation, however, faced all these difficulties with strong determination.
21 September 1991 is the date of our independence and the first steps we took on the new path of building the homeland of all Armenians.
20 years have passed since then, a fraction in the long history of our old nation. What are the challenges that we are facing?
Armenia is located in a fragile geographical region well-known for its security challenges. A recent example has been the Russian-Georgian military operations in 2008 which immediately had negative effect on Armenian economy.
Armenia is in the middle of complicated political setting which obliges us to seek the right solutions and approaches. The slightest miscalculation can have dire consequences. The fact that our longest borders are still closed and blockaded by others indicates the gravity of the situation.
Armenia?s policy aims at reducing the insecurity factors. By enhancing democracy in the Caucasian geographical region the insecurity factors would be reduced. Armenia aspires for equal economic partnership with all countries in the region. It works in the direction of peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Turkey?s stance towards the regional issues is unpredictable. Therefore, Armenia works towards the direction of making Turkey?s involvement more predictable and less threatening.
The above indicate that we have difficult path to go through. We need to develop our country and raise it to the level of facing the tremendous challenges.
We all, in Armenia and Diaspora, should feel that the state of Armenia is next to us in our national quest. We should remain proud of our state and highly motivated army.
We all should work in the direction of enabling Armenia to be a full stakeholder in global development.
We have been witnessing many economic miracles worldwide such as in Japan, Korea, Singapore and the country where we live now, the United Arab Emirates.
I believe that we can create together the Armenian miracle. We have all the preconditions for that. There is no Armenian community in any country in the world, however small, that has not achieved recognition and respect by the local authorities and the people. This is strong asset. Armenia is already known worldwide through its Diaspora.
Armenia needs the support and assistance of each one of us. I can assure you that if every Armenian provides only a small part of his/her support to Armenia, we will be able to achieve the Armenian miracle soon. As support I am not talking about financial assistance.
I should mention here also some of our disadvantages. A much known one is the intolerance and the lack of respect that we have towards each other, especially in critical moments. As an example I can mention the atmosphere that was created during the signing of the Armenian-Turkish protocols. By saying this, I do not mean that there should be no healthy dialogue, sharp criticism and presentation of substantiated arguments. Nevertheless, the antagonism should not surpass its limits to the level that foreign security forces be obliged to protect the President of Armenia from his own people, during his visit abroad.
Turkish diplomacy?s calculations were based on the supposition that however pragmatic would be for Armenia to sign the protocols, yet the President of Armenia would not overlook the negative stance of the Diaspora and would refrain from signing the protocols, thus creating for Turkey an opportunity to talk about their “good intentions”.
As you all are aware, time showed how misleading were their intentions and how they engaged in creating hurdles only hours after the signing of the protocols.
UAE has been following the developments on the Armenian-Turkish front and was one of the first ten countries that expressed, with official political statement, support for the reconciliation process.