Under the chairmanship of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I and at the initiative of the Khachig Babikian Publishing Fund committee of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, on April 22-24, 2023, consultation sessions were held in the Cilicia Museum hall of the Holy See dedicated to the topic “On the Eve of the 100th Anniversary of Lausanne”.
Early this year, during regular meetings chaired by His Holiness, the need to prepare for the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Lausanne had been noted, with two main directions in mind: first, to find the legal ways that would not challenge Armenian historical rights in the context of the treaties of Sèvres and Lausanne; second, to bring under the spotlight Turkey’s obligations towards the protection of national minorities’ rights.
Experts invited to the talks at the Holy See included Prof. Ashot Melkonyan, committee member, director of the History Institute of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of the Republic of Armenia; Prof. Ruben Safrastyan, adviser to the director of the NAS Institute of Oriental Studies; Dr. Armen Marukyan, Head of the Department of Armenian Genocide and Armenian Question of the History Institute; Dr. Nora Bayrakdarian-Kabakian, international law expert and lead attorney in the Sis Catholicosate lawsuit; historian Yervant Pamboukian, chairman of the committee; Giro Manoyan and Shahan Kandaharian, members of the committee, and Aharon Shekherdemian, executive secretary of the Catholicosate publishing fund committees.
Taking into account the political nature of the issue and its current significance, as well as its importance in the global Armenian agenda, the representatives of the highest bodies of the Armenian political parties also participated in the sessions at the invitation of His Holiness, including Aleksan Keoshgerian, of the Social Democratic Hunchakian Party; Hagop Der Khachadourian, of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, and Dr. Avedis Dakessian, of the Armenian Liberal Democratic Ramgavar Party.
Special reports on the historical, legal, and political aspects of the Lausanne Treaty were presented during the three-day sessions, preparing the ground for further discussions of the issue. The Catholicos expressed his satisfaction over the quality of the reports and the unanimity on the importance of the topic.
The participants also agreed on the relevance of these talks in the current situation of crisis in the Caucasus and the Middle East, with a view to continuing the consultations.