“Echmiadzin saw several turning points in our people’s life” - PM attends Echmiadzin Day celebrations
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan traveled to Echmiadzin, where he partook in the festivities dedicated to the 2704th anniversary of Echmiadzin founding.
The program of festive events started with a gala event dedicated to the 2704th anniversary of Echmiadzin founding, held at the Komitas House of Culture.
The Prime Minister addressed the event with greeting remarks, in which he stated:
Dear Echmiadzin City Council members,
Honorable Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure,
National Assembly members and Marz Governors,
Dear Echmiadzin residents,
I congratulate all of us on the 2704th anniversary of Echmiadzin.
Much has been said about Etchmiadzin from this rostrum, and I think that, yes, our common perception of Etchmiadzin is just that Etchmiadzin is the spiritual capital of all Armenians. In fact, saying this, I want to emphasize that Etchmiadzin saw several turning points in our people’s life.
The first, of course, is the adoption of Christianity, which had a turning, revolutionary significance in our lives, and today Christianity, the Armenian Apostolic Church are an integral part of our identity.
As a logical and equally crucial consequence of this event, Echmiadzin became the center of the creation of the Armenian script, because the Catholicos of All Armenians Saak Partev and Mesrop Mashtots were engaged in this business on behalf of King Vramshapuh.
Written language was created, and Echmiadzin became the capital of Armenian education, and the foundation of education in Armenian was laid here. This is also a revolutionary event in our lives, and today it is an integral part of our identity.
The next event, which was also mentioned, is the Battle of Sardarapat. Many, historians and not historians, are convinced that in the battle of Sardarapat, the fact that the Catholicos of All Armenians refused to leave Echmiadzin when they told him that the enemy is very close, there is a threat to his life and it would be more expedient to leave Echmiadzin, was of great importance. However, the Catholicos of All Armenians, showing exceptional courage, said that if the people and the army could not protect him, then he himself would take the sword and protect himself, our faith and our church. And this news spread with lightning speed among the soldiers standing in Sardarapat, which gave them new strength, zeal and increased morale.
The next stage, when Etchmiadzin played an important role, showed activity, and I want to emphasize this, it was the period of the Artsakh war, when many Etchmiadzin went to the front and defended our homeland at the cost of their own life and health, defended Nagorno-Karabakh - Artsakh, as well as many other cities and towns of Armenia.
Of course, during the period of independence, the history of Echmiadzin was very controversial, the city was always in the spotlight: there were successes, there were failures, there were bright pages, there were not so bright pages. However, I want to emphasize that in the modern political sense, Etchmiadzin once again became the center of a turning event. And I consider it very symbolic that over the course of centuries of history this important event, perhaps not so large-scale, but a turning point in its content, took place here, and for the first time in the history of the Third Republic, a woman was elected mayor in Armenia. I consider this a very important event and I hope that this event will also lead to turning points in our country.
The participation of women in public administration, in political processes and in the public life of the Republic of Armenia should become more and more widespread, and this should influence the development of Armenia.
Today, women make up more than half of the population of Armenia, and if we do not provide women with all the necessary and logical conditions and atmosphere so that they get enough space for economic activity and participation in public life, this will mean that we limit more than half of our resources and put unnecessary obstacles to development.
At the same time, as I have repeatedly said, and I want to emphasize once again that in my perception and understanding, as well as this shows experience, the activity of women does not contradict our perception of the traditional family, because many women who are engaged in active economic and social activities they are conscientious and caring mothers of the family and are capable, unlike men, of working and fighting on two fronts in the figurative sense of the word.
Dear Etchmiadzin residents,
Congratulations to all of us on this bright day of the 2704th anniversary of Etchmiadzin. I do not know if our ancestors thought about today 2704 years ago, whether they thought about how they would like to see us, whether they thought about how we should see them, but Echmiadzin is an integral part of the personality of each of us, every Armenian, living in the world. And I hope that in today's Echmiadzin, in today's Armenia, there is such a way that we think not only about today, not only about yesterday, but also about tomorrow, not only about one day, one week, one year, but also about millennia.
I believe that the 2704-year-old Etchmiadzin is the greatest and most important evidence of our shared responsibility for the coming generation that will be celebrating the 5408th anniversary of Etchmiadzin. And I want them to remember us and our ancestors with gratitude.
Deserving such gratitude is perhaps our most important mission, and for its fulfillment we will have to mobilize all our efforts and our faith. Faith is really just as important because, as the Bible says, “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.”
By our faith and conviction, we have already moved many (if not many, then at least several) mountains. And this faith should guide us in our future endeavors, since our goal cannot be deviated from the simple idea that underlies the non-violent velvet popular revolution of 2018: a free citizen, a protected citizen, the rule of law, a rule of law and, finally, free and happy Armenia, we and our children, our next generations that will live in free and happy Armenia for millennia.
The task that we must solve is both so simple and complex, and, of course, the solution to this problem starts from every street, every yard, every roof, every entrance, every school, and every kindergarten. I mean that global problems should be broken down into specific actions of the mayor, the head of the administrative district, a member of the council, and these actions should guide us in our daily work.
Once again, I congratulate all of us on the 2704th anniversary of Etchmiadzin. I wish that our people, our country, our State, each of us, each citizen of the Republic of Armenia could have strong self-confidence in their talent and our common future. Thank you.”
The “Friend of the City” and “Honorary Citizen” titles were conferred upon during the meeting. After the ceremonious meeting, the Prime Minister took a tour of Echmiadzin, met with the locals and congratulated them on City Day. The Head of Government visited the exposition of sculptures made by students from the Ruben Nalbandian School of Masters.
Nikol Pashinyan also called at the first “smart stop” in Armenia, which was put into operation on the occasion of Echmiadzin Day and was created on the joint initiative of Echmiadzin City Hall and Smart Stop LLC. Special screens are installed at the “smart stop,” thanks to which citizens can get information about the planned routes, the number of buses and much more. The stop is equipped with air conditioning and heating systems, trash cans, an anti-fire system, and surveillance cameras. The stop also provides tourists with a lot of information about the sights of the city, entertainment, there is free Wi-Fi, mobile phone charging points, an ATM and payment terminals, an apparatus for buying coffee and sweets.