Armenian spiritual and community leaders met at the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia on Wednesday, September 6, on the invitation of His Holiness Catholicos Aram I to discuss how to support the people of Artsakh, who are on the verge of starvation following a nine-month blockade by Azerbaijan.
Participants in the meeting included Patriarch Raphaël Bedros XXI of the Armenian Catholic Church; Rev. Paul Haydostian, chairman of the Union of the Armenian Evangelical Churches in the Near East; representatives of the leadership of the three main political parties: Hagop Der Khachatourian, for the Armenian Revolutionary Federation; Avedis Dakessian, for the Armenian Democratic Liberal Party; Vazken Hamalian, for the Social Democratic Hunchak Party; the Catholicosate’s Executive Council members Stepan Der Bedrossian and Krikor Mahserjian, and the coordinator of community-wide meetings at the Catholicosate, Shahan Kandaharian.
A seven-point resolution was adopted by the meeting as summarized below:
1. Every Armenian organization must continue to support the just struggle of the people of Artsakh.
2. We call on the political forces of Artsakh to unite around the highest goals in a display of resolve against the enemy.
3. We urge the Republic of Armenia to insist on the right of self-determination in the negotiations about Artsakh.
4. Alert about the genocidal intentions pursued by Azerbaijan with the blockade of Artsakh as a way of ethnic cleansing.
5. Call on the international community to emphatically condemn Azerbaijan’s acts of aggression. The party that guarantees the free circulation between Armenia and Artsakh has special obligations and responsibilities undertaken in the November 9, 2020, statement.
6. Work with all the states concerned with the resolution of the Artsakh conflict to force Azerbaijan to respect the agreements reached so far and immediately open the Berdzor (Lachin) corridor.
7. Call on every Armenian organization to work together to send urgent aid to the people of Artsakh, who are faced with a humanitarian catastrophe.