H.E. Ms Irina Bokova
Director-General of UNESCO
The Presidium of the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe (FAAE) and the President personally, Dr Ashot Grigorian, wish to express their extreme disappointment to the UNESCO Secretariat and its Director General Ms Irina Bokova, requesting an explanation for the scandal surrounding the UNESCO organized exhibition of Armenian cross-stones (khachkars) in Paris on June 15, 2011. It is understood that UNESCO requested the organizers to remove from the placards the exact location of the cross-stones’ origin. This absurd request becomes even more preposterous when the explanation provided reveals that it is a request from Azerbaijani and Turkish authorities, i.e. the two countries that methodically carried out cultural genocide destroying millennia old valuable Armenian memorials in Armenian regions furthermore demand removing the same from people’s memories. It is known that in 2005 Azerbaijani authorities organized and executed the complete destruction of thousands of ancient Armenian cross-stones in the region of Julfa, Nakhichevan. To date UNESCO has not investigated this transgression and has failed to send an investigation mission to Nakhichevan due to the counter efforts of the very organizers of this vandalism – the Azerbaijani authorities headed by President Ilham Aliyev.
FAAE requests that UNESCO set up a commission to investigate the above mentioned statement and hold to account the perpetrators of the deliberate and intentional destruction of Armenian cultural heritage.
In addition, we request an explanation regarding the Paris exhibition and an apology from those responsible for this scandalous act. Alternatively, FAAE will put this case forward to the jurisdiction of international courts. Sincerely yours, Dr. Ashot Grigorian President, Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe
Bratislava, Slovakia, June 17, 2011
Open Letter of the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe to Congressmen of the United States of America
Your Honors, Congressmen of the United States of America The Presidency of the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe had written last April to HE Mr. Barack Obama, The President of the United States of America, with the following request. HE Mr. Barack Obama The President of the United States of America April 15, 2009 Your Excellency, Mr. President, In the name of the representatives of the Armenian communities in Europe please allow us to express our deepest and utmost gratitude for your stance on the Armenian Genocide during your pre-election campaign. We feel confident that your continuous efforts will contribute to the adoption of the resultant resolution on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the US Congress. Honorable President, Armenian communities have hitherto contributed to the adoption of similar resolutions by the Parliaments of a number of European countries in faith that this will aid to the development of Turkish-Armenian relations and their neighborly cooperation. By helping Turkey to reconcile with its past and enhance working relations with its neighboring country, we will naturally contribute to the development of Turkey’s democracy and create an opportunity for it to earn its right for its future integration into the European Union. The adoption of the resolution recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide by the United States will greatly contribute to this historical process and will help the Turkish authorities to ‘cross Rubicon’ and rid itself of the heavy burden inherited from its past. Honorable President, We eagerly await your speech on April 24 in faith and hope and we express our admiration and deepest gratitude for your newly initiated efforts. This letter was signed by a number of notable figures in Europe, among others, Ashot Grigorian - President of Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe, (Slovakia) Marios Garoyian - President of the House of Representatives, Republic of Cyprus Charles Aznavour - Singer, Public Activist (France) Hilda Tchoboian - President of European-Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (France) Sergey Khachatrya - Violinist (Germany) Arthur Abraham - World Champion in Boxing (Germany) Levon Aronian - Chess Grandmaster (Germany) Honorable Congressmen, We turn to you for your support on an issue that has been the cause of much suffering to the Armenian Diaspora worldwide. Turkey’s ignorance of the Armenian Genocide, its falsification of justice, its sinning against the truth can no longer be tolerated and we ask you to recognize the Armenian Genocide in honor of historical truth and morality. We are convinced that recognition of the Armenian Genocide will make Turkey honor the international opinion, and more importantly, it will help towards building a sustainable relationship between Armenia and Turkey. Yours faithfully, Dr. Ashot Grigorian President, Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe.
European Armenians eagerly await U.S. President's historic speech on April 24 in faith and hope
BRATISLAVA, APRIL 1, ARMENIANS TODAY - NOYAN TAPAN. Ashot Grigorian, the President of Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe, made an open letter addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama on behalf of the representatives of Armenian communities of Europe, in which he expressed deep gratitude for the processes launched by the latter, in particular, for the position he expressed on the Armenian Genocide. The letter, which before being handed to U.S. President Barack Obama was sent to heads of authoritative Armenian organizations of Europe, as well as to renowned European Armenian figures, in particular, read: "In the name of the representatives of the Armenian communities in Europe please allow us to express our deepest and utmost gratitude for your stance on the Armenian Genocide during your pre-election campaign. We feel confident that your continuous efforts will contribute to the adoption of the resultant resolution on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the US Congress." As Ashot Grigorian informed Noyan Tapan, Armenian communities contributed to the adoption of similar resolutions by the Parliaments of a number of European countries in faith that this will aid to the development of Turkish-Armenian relations and their neighborly cooperation. By helping Turkey to reconcile with its past and enhance working relations with its neighboring country, we will naturally contribute to the development of Turkey's democracy and create an opportunity for it to earn its right for its future integration into the European Union. The adoption of the resolution recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide by the United States will greatly contribute to this historical process and will help the Turkish authorities to "cross Rubicon" and rid itself of the heavy burden inherited from its past. "We eagerly await your speech on April 24 in faith and hope and we express our admiration and deepest gratitude for your newly initiated efforts," the open letter to be sent to the U.S. President on behalf of the representatives of Armenian communities of Europe read.
Diaspora waits for RA President's assurance that improval of Armenian-Turkish relations should have nothing in common with recognition of Armenian Genocide
BRATISLAVA, MARCH 20, NOYAN TAPAN. "The issue of recognition of Armenian Genocide by Congress and U.S. President is being discussed in the U.S. in these days, and the Turkish side is trying with the last attempt to suspend resolution's adoption raffling as a playing card the future of improval of Armenia-Turkey relations and opening of the border." It was mentioned in the address of Ashot Grigorian, the Chairman of the Forum of Armenian Associations of Europe (FAAE), to RA President Serzh Sargsyan provided to Noyan Tapan by the Forum Office. According to A. Grigorian, it is announced that allegedly the admission of the Armenian Genocide by the U.S. President will damage improval of Armenian-Turkish relations very much. According to FAAE Chairman's address, "the Armenian Diaspora also strains its last efforts to prove that the Turkish game is aimed at not protecting Armenia's interests, but at carrying out the Pan-Turkish policy: to suspend the recognition of Armenian Genocide and by opening the border to develop appropriation of Western Armenian territories being in the border zone, by ensuring an economic flight through cooperation with Armenian businessmen, much activation of import of Turkish goods to Armenia and increase of Turkish element's volume among the population living in the above mentioned territories." "In this situation, when the Diasporan Armenians have already exhausted what they had to say, the final word, the historic possibility of taking a decisive step for receiving the result of dozens of years was given to the RA authorities and concretely to our country's President. The Armenians in the whole world are waiting for our President's statement that the fact of Armenian Genocide, which has been already admitted by many European countries, has been confirmed in many parliaments of the world, cannot become a subject for speculations, and Turkish diplomacy's provocations will be vain. We are waiting for RA President's statement that the improval of Armenian-Turkish relations should have nothing in common with the recognition of the historic fact of Armenian Genocide and it cannot be used as a playing card by the Turkish authorities, and the U.S. President should put a full stop in his speech expected to be made in April by fulfilling his preelection promise. Armenia's position can be decisive in this situation. We believe that we will listen to our country's President's exact position on that issue, which will be appreciated by both our and future generations," the address read.
CHAIRMAN OF FORUM OF ARMENIAN UNIONS OF EUROPE CALLS ON TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER TO TELL TRUTH
"Dear Mr. Minister. Just at the time when the the Forum of Armenian Unions of Europe was carrying out its activities in Bratislava, during which a discussion was held on Turkey's policy of denial of the Armenian Genocide and the problems of grave consequences for Turkey due to this denial, and not only Armenian political figures but also Slovak ones, members of the Slovak government and ambassadors of biggest EU countries expressed thier opinions in this connection, just at the time when the above mentioned figures laid wreaths at the khachkar erected in Bratislava and a liturgy was celebrated in memory of one and a half million Armenians - victims of the genocide committed by Turkey, you once again - this time in Bratislava - spoke about opening the Armenian archives, saying that it would shed light on the history of the genocide. Dear Mr. Minister, you are trying to present the opening of Turkish archives, which were closed for years, as an honest act and you are trying to mislead the European society by demanding a similar step from Armenia - in the hope that everybody will think that like the Turkish archives, the Armenian ones are also closed and the Armenians are afraid of opening them. It would be naive to think that you are unaware that Armenian archives are open to everybody and all high-ranking foreign officials, experts and scientists visit the genocide museum in Yerevan. Of course, you know that before the National Council of the Slovak Republic recognized the fact of the genocide, tens of Slovak political figures visited that museum and became acquainted with a great number of documents. That is, while being aware of the openness of Armenian archives, you permit yourself to lie openly and you continue to throw mud at the history of your people, as you avoid condemning what was already condemned by your first president Kemal Ataturk.
In order to make it clear to you that those recognizing the fact of the genocide are no enemies of the Turkish people, I have to quote the Slovak deputy prime minister as saying (at the genocide monument in Bratislava): "By recognizing the fact of the genocide, the Slovak National Assembly helped the Turkish people to understand and clean itself from the filth of the past and to find its place beside the European family".
Mr. Minister. Understand the meaning of this simple truth and put an end to false statements - as the Armenian saying goes: "a lie has short legs". Make use of the opportunity and clean yourself because the whole Europe did not shout unanimously that a nation that has commited genocide and conceals it has no place among democratic countries. Believe me that we only want to help you understand and percieve this simple fact".
SLOVAKIA CAN BECOME SECOND COUNTRY IN EUROPEAN UNION, WHICH HAS DEFINED CRIMINAL PUNISHMENT FOR DENIAL OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
YEREVAN, MAY 26, NOYAN TAPAN. Stefan Harabin, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice of Slovakia, taking as basis the resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide adopted in 2004 in the National Council of Slovakia has suggested a draft law, according to which the denial of genocides is considered as ciminally punishable. He has taken the idea of considering the denial of the Armenian Genocide as punishable as a basis for the document. This information was provided to a Noyan Tapan correspondent by Ashot Grigorian, the Chairman of the Forum of the Armenian Unions of Europe and the Head of the Armenian community of Slovakia.
Ashot Grigorian clarified that if there is no precedent of the denial of the Holocaust, there are precedents of the denial of the Armenian Genocide and the whole Europe should lead a serious struggle against its repetition. According to him, in this respect Slovakia will serve another example after France after the adoption of the law envisaging up to five years of imprisonment for denying the Armenian Genocide. He expressed hope that the adoption of the law will not take much time.
In the words of the Chairman of the Forum of the Armenian Unions of Europe, if they take into consideration the fact that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey does everything for the organization of the dismantling of the munument-khachkar placed in Bratislava in memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, it will become clear what a blaw the adoption of the given law will become for Turkey. Besides, Ashot Grigorian is taking lobbyist steps so as the government of Slovakia is not against the adoption of that law as the circumstance of the development of the given draft law by the Minister of Justice does not mean at all that the Ministers representing other parties making part of the government will defend the idea on the adoption of the law. Even the Christian-Democratic Movement party, the representatives of which were the initiators of the adoption of the law on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the parliament of Slovakia in 2004, can be against the adoption of the law considering the denial of the Armenian Genocide as criminally punishable because of being opposition.
According to Ashot Grigorian, Stefan Harabin is in Armenia on May 26-28 at the invitation of Gevorg Danielian, the RA Minister of Justice. The Head of the Armenian community of Slovakia reminded that he organized the visit of Yan Charnogurski, a founder of the Christian Democtratic Movement party and the Minister of Justice of those times of that country, to Armenia, then the visit of RA former Minister of Justice David Haroutiunian to Bratislava. S. Harabin will be in Yerevan for the purpose of providing the productiveness of the action of the provisions stipulated by the contracts concluded during those visits. "In addition to this, the visit of S. Harabin is a serious political act as any similar visit is an active incentive for the provision of the settlement of the Armenian issues in Europe," the Chairman of the Forum of the Armenian Unions of Europe stressed.
He added that the Minister of Justice of Slovakia will take part in the conference of the Forum of the Armenian Unions of Europe to be held in Bratislava on May 29-30 and the ceremony of laying wreaths on the monument khachkar (crosstone) placed in Bratislava in the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide. It is expected that at the invitation of S. Harabin, Slovakian current world-famous hockey player Zigmund Palfin, who is in the Hockey National League, will take part in the ceremony. Within the frameworks of the Conference dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the First Republic of Armenia and the 10th anniversary of the Forum of the Armenian Unions of Europe besides S. Harabin, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Culture of Slovakia, the leaders of the parliament and other officials have affirmed their participation. According to Ashot Grigorian, famous violonist Sergey Khachatrian and the Eurasia band with Vladimir Khachatrian at the head will perform during that solemn event.