President Serge Sargsyan this morning expressed gratitude for America’s humanitarian intervention on behalf of the victims of the Armenian Genocide as he laid flowers at the tombstone of WWI-era President Woodrow Wilson at Washington’s National Cathedral.
Several Genocide survivors as well as a number of Armenian American leaders and community representatives were in attendance at the ceremony that reflected the Armenian government’s commitment to international recognition of the Genocide just as it seeks improved relations with Turkey.
The visit came shortly after Mr. Sargsyan met Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and just before the Armenian President’s meeting with Barack Obama.
In his remarks before hundreds Armenian Americans at the Cathedral, Mr. Sargsyan said that in his meeting with Mr. Erdogan he reiterated that Armenia was ready to establish relations with Turkey but without any pre-conditions related to the Armenian Genocide recognition campaign or the Karabakh peace process.
President Serzh Sargsyan’s makes a statement after visiting President Woodrow Wilson’s tomb in Washington Cathedral
Today, all of us together paid tribute to late President Woodrow Wilson – a person and a leader, who is and always will be remembered by our people as a true friend of the Armenian nation.
President Wilson was a great statesman, a statesman, who has been honored by the generations of the ancient people, who live thousands of miles away from America. For us, Armenians, Wilson is not only the person, who satisfied our dream of the lost motherland with the vivifying land but also left a percept to the world that the great are obligated to bear the responsibility of preventing torments of a small nation.
“Have you thought of the sufferings the Armenians had gone through? Did you help the Armenians after they had gone through those sufferings? Support them now, so that they never suffer again.” These words spoken by President Wilson on February 26, 1919 in Boston and actually addressed to the entire world, reverberate even today.
“Support the Armenians, so that they never suffer again,” with these words more than 90 years ago the 28th President of the United States had already articulated the demand for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, because recognition paves the way for the prevention of all future genocides and sufferings.
Today, we bow to the memory of President Wilson and report that ninety-five years later many countries, organizations and political figures, including those in his own country, continue to act in the spirit of President Wilson’s percept. The Armenian nation remembers them all, name by name.
The Armenian-American community, particularly in recent decades, has become one of the most ardent and tenacious constituents in the process of the international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, and I am confident that you will double your efforts. Nobody can stop the inevitable.
Before the Protocols [with Turkey] were signed, some had expressed concern that it would slow down or postpone international steps aimed at the recognition of the Genocide. Time has proved that those concerns were baseless and will be baseless as long as all of us are ready to double our efforts and fight.
In recent months we witnessed Turkey’s failed attempts to drive a wedge between the Motherland and Diaspora and to create an impression that Armenia and Diaspora have two different opinions. Today, we together and once again rebuff these hollow expectations. Opinions in Motherland and Diaspora do not diverge; there is one united Armenian nation and it stands behind its just cause.
Yes, we are ready and willing to have normal relations with all our neighbors, but will not abide by preconditions.
This morning I met with the Prime Minister of Turkey; our position is clear: Turkey cannot talk to Armenia and the Armenians in the language of preconditions. We will not tolerate it. We will not subject the veracity of the Genocide to scrutiny in any format or pretend to believe that the Turks can have any positive role in the NK conflict settlement. Any new political course may undergo changes, because we are in uncharted waters. I have no doubt that Armenia will pass this test too with honor.
As an entity living abroad but concerned with the Armenian problems and protection of our interests you are unassailable force; you are also an important component of Armenia’s international credence. This is comprehended by our friends and the others. Through your posture and determination you prove that all those calculations that the Armenian nation can be eliminated by scattering it all over the world, were wrong.
All Armenians, regardless of where they live, will become constant dropping water that wears away the stone. This is what we do. The executioners of our nation left us no choice. We will flourish, we will wear away the stone of indifference, cynicism and hypocrisy. We have enough patience, faith, and determination to do it.
Allow me to conclude with the words of gratitude addressed to the country and the nation, which gave us Ambassador Morgenthau and President Wilson.
The Armenian community of the United States is strong and can express itself. It is, undoubtedly, one of your advantages, but what’s more, it is also an advantage of the American freedom. We are grateful to this great and powerful nation for maintaining its significant role in the life of the Armenian nation.
God bless America, God bless Armenia and long live the Armenian nation.