“On occasion of the 30th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Armenia, we greet with patriarchal blessings our beloved people from the Mother Monastery of the Holy See of Cilicia in Antelias,” said His Holiness Catholicos Aram I in a statement released on Tuesday, Sept. 21, the day when the people of Armenia took back the reins of its destiny in 1991.
“We mark the independence of Armenia in sad and uncertain circumstances,” His Holiness said. “In the 44-day war we gave a large number of martyrs, we had many prisoners and wounded and lost enormous territories.” The people, he said, are disillusioned and not optimistic about the future.
The Catholicos also warned about the geopolitical developments that cast a shadow over Armenia. “In fact, countries that are our friends, following their regional interests, sometimes silently and sometimes openly share Azerbaijan and Turkey’s so called ‘peaceful’ approaches,” he said. In these adverse circumstances, “the genocide perpetrator has become a claimant,” and “Armenia is left alone and, unfortunately, always in the role of the one that gives in…”
He then warned about the biggest threat for Armenia in the new, postwar reality.
“Do we realize that a new pan-Turanian and pan-Turkic alliance is shaping up in the Caucasus, based on strategic and political interests and pursuing an expansionist vision?”
The crises and challenges faced by Armenia are consequential for the entire Armenian nation. “It is not possible, it is not right, to pass decisions based on routine government analysis,” His Holiness said. “We have a collective responsibility before History.”
“In the first week of the 44-day war we proposed to the Prime Minister to organize a pan-national consultation to face collectively the terrible danger faced by Artsakh,” Aram I said. “We repeat the same today: the critical issues that are obscuring the present of the homeland and endangering its future have to be tackled with our collective national effort, will and vision.” This is, he said, “what our centuries-old history teaches us” and “what the dramatic present demands.”
His Holiness said that “the independence of the homeland is the key to our nation’s greatness and the guarantee of its eternity.” On the anniversary of Armenia’s independence, he urged Armenians to “gather around the homeland and build a brilliant future for the homeland with collective responsibility and dedication.”
He concluded his message with a call for unity: “May God protect and preserve Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora, the three inseparable poles of our nation.”