Statements and messages of the Prime Minister of RA

“We no longer have separate agendas for Armenia and the Diaspora: we have a national agenda aimed at achieving national goals” - Nikol Pashinyan meets with Armenian community representatives in Iran


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At the end of the first day of his official visit to Iran, accompanied by Mrs. Anna Hakobyan and the members of his delegation, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met with the local Armenian community representatives. The meeting took place at Tehran’s Ararat Sports and Cultural Association. Thousands of Iranian-Armenians attended the meeting. They welcomed the Prime Minister with enthusiasm, warmth and applause.

Prior to addressing the audience, Nikol Pashinyan signed the Book of Honorary Guests at Ararat Sport-Cultural Union. Welcoming the representatives of the Iranian-Armenian community, Nikol Pashinyan stated, in part: “Proud citizens of proud Armenians in Iran, I welcome all of you. It is a great honor for me to be here and enjoy a purely Armenian and homely atmosphere. I want to say that I love all of you, I am proud of you all, I am proud of your spirit, I bow to all of you living far from your homeland in the friendly and brotherly Iran; it is very important that you can provide such an atmosphere. This proves that being a citizen of Iran is not at odds with one’s being Armenian, being from Armenia and focused on Armenia.

Of course, during the revolutionary days of April-May, I had no chance to follow what was happening in our communities, in particular in the Iranian-Armenian community, but I also know that the whole community was closely following the development in the Homeland.

Dear compatriots, I will not hesitate to say that you were full participants of the popular revolution that took place in the Republic of Armenia. No matter who was physically present in Armenia: the changes would not have happened without your support.

Yes, each one of you participated in the non-violent, velvet popular revolution in Armenia with your love and attention, and the triumph of our popular revolution was the personal victory of each of you because it brought unity to the Armenian people; unity that will never be impaired in any way.

I want to make a clear record. Yes, there may be discussions, debates, different approaches and views on issues related to the Diaspora in Armenia, but I want to set a task before us, first and foremost before me and our government: we must rule out any such action as may cast doubt on the unprecedented national unity that the Armenian people enjoy today in Armenia, in Iran and in the Diaspora. That unity is out of any political and party interests, our national unity is exalted above all, and we all serve that national unity.

I cannot help addressing words of respect and appreciation to Ararat Club, which has been able to create such an exclusive Armenian hearth through individual efforts, the efforts of individual groups and the efforts of individual parties. This is truly our common pride: thanks to the beloved participants and organizers of Ararat Club. I would like to emphasize that this service is unique not only for the Armenian community of Iran, but also for Armenians and the Republic of Armenia.

I also want to emphasize the exceptional service provided by the Iranian Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Armenian Catholic Church, and the Armenian Evangelical Church in the Iranian-Armenian community here.

The fact that all of us are here under the same roof, emphasizes that a truly new chapter has been opened in the history of our people, and each of us has a share to take by writing and creating that part of our history.
The greatest mission of our revolution and the government is that each of us, each one of you, as a whole, not only believes in the future of our homeland, our nation, but also is confident that we will be victorious in the 21st century. This is a new nationwide march with which we should open a new page in our nation’s history. We can record your loyalty to the values that led to the non-violent, velvet popular revolution.

We no longer have separate agendas for Armenia and the Diaspora: we have a national agenda aimed at achieving national goals. I have repeatedly stated that while suffering, our people have always dreamed, we have dreamed of new victories, new happiness and new unity.

I want to say that the time has come to materialize our long-cherished dreams, and your presence here testifies to the fact that we are united on the way to implementing our aspirations, whether it be Armenia’s economic empowerment, the enforcement of Artsakh people’s legitimate demand, or the realization of our dreams. We must build our future with our own hands.

Our destiny is no longer in the East, in the North and in the South, but in our hands, and as dignified citizens, we must grasp the fate of our destiny, and as a state, we must head for ever new victories. But I also want to emphasize that the realization of these dreams depends on each one, especially on me and my government.

You have fulfilled your duty today because I got so much energy from the meeting that once back to Armenia, I will endeavor with doubled, tripled, fourfold energy. I would like to thank you for such a meeting and atmosphere.

Long live freedom! Long live the Republic of Armenia! Long live the Armenian-Iranian friendship! Long live our children and we as we are living and will live as dignified and victorious sons of a free, proud and dignified people. Thank you.”

In conclusion, Prime Minister Pashinyan answered a number of questions concerning the strengthening of Armenia-Diaspora relations, the results of today’s talks, his government’s priorities, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, the Armenian-Turkish relations and other topics.

Nikol Pashinyan referred to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the transcript of which is presented below:

Question - Mr. Prime Minister, dear Nikol Pashinyan, you are welcome to our community. First of all, what can you say about Armenia-Turkey relations, which are too little referred to in your speeches? Secondly, I would like to know whether the latest meetings between Mnatsakanyan and Mammadyarov, which have been widely reported in news agencies, were mere exchange of good greetings and words to that effect, or are there any arrangements that you can tell us now?

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - I do not know why you did not mention my meetings with Aliyev. I have already said in public everything about the scope of those meetings. I only want to ask you, looking all straight in your eyes: some people today are trying to give the impression that we have come to power with the people’s mandate in a bid to act against our homeland and our nation. Where is the logic here?

As to specific agreements, an arrangement is out that we should consider the possibility of a peaceful settlement of the issue. Do I see such opportunities today and can state some progress in the negotiations? Unfortunately, I cannot say such a thing because, as you may know, such a conversation took place recently when international representatives asked us if we were ready for compromise.

I simply told them that Armenia is not the first respondent to answer this question. Who has ever asked Azerbaijan whether they are ready for compromises? We will not answer that question until Azerbaijan has answered it clearly. Now we can state why Azerbaijan should first answer that question, just because Azerbaijan undermines the peace process on a daily basis by threatening us with war. And I say that mistaken are those who believe to be able to resolve the conflict by means of threats. They do not realize that they will have to deal not only with the citizens of the Republic of Armenia but also with all Armenians worldwide who are united today more than ever. In case of any threat to Karabakh, that unity will double, triple, will be tenfold and will become a much stronger force than today. Let no one have any doubts whatsoever.

Regarding the Armenian-Turkish relations, unfortunately, the Turkish authorities’ position prevent us from talking seriously about this issue because Turkey keeps associating our bilateral relations with the Karabakh conflict, i.e. Armenia-Karabakh-Azerbaijan relations. And therefore, unfortunately, we cannot have grounds for optimism, though we said and say that we are ready to discuss establishment of relations without preconditions. But this means that neither Turkey should set forth any preconditions. In this context, I want to state that the issue of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide is of utmost importance to us.

But now a question may arise: You say that you are ready for establishing relations without preconditions, but in the meantime, you are blaming Turkey for the Armenian Genocide? Does not it turn out that this is also a precondition? We say very clearly that the issue of the international recognition of the Genocide is not a matter of bilateral relations between Armenia and Turkey, it has to do with the international campaign against genocides and the global security agenda, and by persisting in our drive for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide we are making our contribution to the global security and global struggle against genocides. So, we will continue to pursue the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and we will pursue the recognition of Artsakh’s right to self-determination.

I want to say that our government has set itself a priority task to upgrade Nagorno-Karabakh’s status in the negotiation process. I am going to meet with the President of Azerbaijan. It will be a meeting without agenda, but one of its key milestones is the discussion of the format of the talks, which means that these discussions cannot be considered formal talks until we reach agreement on this format, because as I have already said, I cannot negotiate on behalf of Karabakh since I am the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia. I cannot represent the Republic of Artsakh as they have their own authorities - president, government – who should speak and act on behalf of the people of Artsakh in the negotiation process. This is very important, and we have to do everything in order to enhance Karabakh’s status in the negotiation process.


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