April 24, 2014 - 12:40 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - President Serzh Sargyan issued an address on the 99the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
"Today we bow to the memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide. One and a half million Armenians fell prey to a crime which did not have a name at the time. Nor had a human language coined such a term. They were killed as a part of a monstrous crime which lied in anihilation of Armenians as a political factor.
Nearly a hundred years after the Genocide, it is obvious that we as a nation were not ready to undergo those hardships. Even now, Armenian people feel the repercussions of the great tragedy. But we have built our state and today, in contrast to the past, we are ready to confront such calamities. Nowhere in the world is an Armenian as safe as under the auspices of his own state.
The 24th of April is just a symbolic date: it is clear that the Armenian Genocide was not perpetrated in one day. And the tragedy is not over as far as the successor of the Ottoman Turkey continues its policy of utter denial. We are convinced that the denial of a crime perpetuates that very crime. Only recognition and condemnation can prevent the repetition of such crimes in the future. Today, we stand on the threshold of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. This date can be a chance for Turkey to repent and face its history. At the same time, I publicly reaffirm: we do not consider the Turkish society to be our enemy. We bow to the memory of the innocent victims we remember all those Turks who, at the risk of their own lives, lent a helping hand to their Armenian neighbors and helped numerous Armenian children escape from the clutches of the mob. We express our gratitude to all the countries and peoples who granted asylum to our compatriots who survived the Genocide. Armenian people will remember this forever. Our sisters and brothers have kept showing their gratitude for decades by becoming devoted citizens of those hospitable countries.
Today, Armenians of Syria are facing increasing hardships. This is our open wound and the issue of our primary concern. We take every effort to help return peace to Syrian people and our compatriots in Syria.
We are approaching the 100th anniversary of the Genocide as a stronger nation, open-faced and having a state whose name is the Republic of Armenia - a homeland of people who despite the decade-old illegal blockade and the “neither war nor peace” reality continue to make progress.
The year 2015 should convey a strong message to Turkey. The attitude toward Armenia can no longer be measured by words because it presumes clear steps: opening of closed borders and establishment of normal relations. Our position on the Armenian-Turkish protocols has not changed and the idea of “reasonable terms” is becoming more urgent than ever," the Armenian leader said in his statement.