GLENDALE—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee issued an announcement on Friday regarding its participation in an upcoming banquet to mark the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of Armenia’s independence.
“We were pleased to learn that the nature of a ‘celebration gala banquet’ dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of Armenia’s independence has been revised,” the announcement said.
“We highly commend the initiative to revise the event and make the focus of the celebration the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of Armenia’s independence,” the ARF Central Committee said.
“As such, the reason for us to not participate has been rectified. Once again we salute the 20th anniversary of the re-establishment of Armenia’s independence and congratulation our people on the occasion,” concluded the announcement.
Several weeks ago, the ARF Western US Central Committee announced that it would not participate in the “celebration banquet,” which originally was to honor President Serzh Sarkisian.
The ARF Central Committee cited the fact that the 20th anniversary should be a celebration of the re-establishment of Armenia’s independence and not an opportunity to honor any government official, especially one whose tenure has aggravated the difficult domestic and foreign challenges facing the Armenia and the Armenian nation.
In an exclusive interview with Asbarez on Friday, ARF Western US Central Committee chairman, Avedik Izmirlian, frankly discussed the announcement and the ensuing reaction, explaining that certain elements were attempting to “sow the seeds” of division in the party. Izmirlian said the points put forward in the earlier announcement were in no way new positions or messages, but rather a political assessment that has been made on several occasions by the party. He added that the announcement was taken out of context.
“We announce that the party, with its strong structure, remains one of our national assets, hence disappointing elements and forces who do not know the ARF’s organizational and ideological strength,” said Izmirlian.
Certain circles opted to take advantage of the announcement and presented the ARF as an entity that wanted to diminish the importance of the concept of independence. Izmirlian explained that upon receiving the invitation letter with the revised wording from Armenia’s Consulate General in Los Angeles, the ARF Central Committee saw the imperative to issue the second announcement on Friday.
Izmirlian said no one can question the party’s absolute commitment to the concept of independence and its conviction that Armenia’s independence is a supreme asset and aspiration.
The ARF Central Committee chairman said the Western US Armenian-American community can be considered one of the important anchors of the independent Armenian state.
“Our mission is to organize the community’s political and financial potential, to best of our ability, and to expand that potential to benefit our national interests and aspirations,” said Izmirlian.