YEREVAN (ARF Press Office)–The ARF Bureau officially opened the doors to its newly constructed building in Yerevan–Armenia on August 16–with a reception that drew guests from throughout the world. Representatives of Armenia’s political parties were also on hand–as well as Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian–President Kocharian’s Chief of Staff Ardashes Toumanian–and Catholicos of All Armenia’s Karekin II. The head of ARF-Armenia’s Supreme Body Armen Rustamian–spoke of the symbolic significance of the building at a time when the activities of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation are gaining impetus in the homeland. Welcoming the presence of political parties and representative from active ARF regions–Rustamian pointed to the importance of unity in resolving pan-national issues.
ARF Bureau representative Hrant Markarian told guests that in its 115 year history–the organization has never owned a building belonging to the Bureau. "This building is presently in Armenia–but it gains significance when it is able to reflect the full essence of the ARF–when it enables the expansion and efficiency of activities. But today–we do not have a choice; the issues of the Armenian people–become our problems–starting with strengthening the Armenian government and national security–to ensuring the well-being of the population and the collective rights of Armenia’s," noting Armenia’s in Mountainous Karabagh–Javakhk–Western Armenia–and the territory of the former Soviet Union.
He stressed that the construction of the building could not have been possible without worldwide financial backing from ARF’s supporters and members–and introduced leading benefactors Varant and Houry Melkonian from Los Angeles. He also noted the generous support received from Zohrab and Naiomi Tazian from Indiana who funded the building’s library-museum project. Markarian underlined the fact that there have been many other benefactors whose names would be released soon.