YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Opening ceremonies of the 29th World Congress of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)–a member of Armenia’s ruling coalition–were held Thursday–marking only the second time the Congress convenes in the second independent Armenian Republic.
Delegates from Armenia–Karabagh–and ARF chapters from 30 countries will participate in the Congress to evaluate the work of the party in the past four years and outline the ARF’s strategy during the coming four years. Delegates will also evaluate the ARF Bureau’s four-year activity report–as well as world and regional developmen’s–and issues relating to Armenia and Armenia’s.
"Since the day of its founding–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation has struggled for an independent and powerful Armenia. Today–when independence is a reality–and Armenia is a full-fledged member of the international community–the values and aims of the ARF carry the same significance," said Armenian President Robert Kocharian in his message to the Congress. "We all want our country to develop economically. We must take all possible efforts to achieve our goals–and the role of the ARF is very important. I am confident that in working together–we will be able to face and conquer all threats on our country."
The President of Mountainous Karabagh Republic Arkady Ghukasian outlined the significant role of the ARF in the national liberation movement of Karabagh–and during the process of establishing Karabagh’s statehood.
The prime minister of Armenia Andranik Margarian–welcoming his colleagues from the ARF–said that the party closely adheres to the realization of national goals. "The 29th Congress will help to find solutions to support uniting Armenian political forces–regulating existing issues–and strengthening the country’s policy directed towards the regulation of the Karabagh conflict," said Margarian–emphasizing that "effective" cooperation exists between the Republican Party of Armenia and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.
Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian said the ARF symbolizes unity of Armenia’s–recalling that–at the 9th ARF World Congress–then Prime Minister of Armenia Alexander Khatisian welcomed the birth of the Republic of Armenia and expressed hope that the international community would soon recognize its independence. The same Congress passed a decision to make Karabagh a part of Armenia. "Today we have an independent–recognized–and respected Armenia. We are all happy that Karabagh is–in fact–a part of Armenia. We now wait for it to be recognized internationally."
ARF Bureau Representative Hrant Margarian presented the party’s achievemen’s–and position on recognition of the Armenian Genocide–Armenian-Turkish relations–and Javakhk.
Also on hand for the opening ceremonies were the speaker of Armenia’s parliament and the chairman of Orinats Yerkir Party Arthur Baghdasarian–the speaker of the parliament of Mountainous Karabagh Oleg Yessayan–and representatives from the National Unity–Liberal Democratic–and Hunchakian parties–and other dignitaries. Margarian said the ARF’s most notable achievement in the international arena is the strengthening of relations with Socialist International (of which ARF became a full-fledged member)–and its member parties–many of which hold ruling positions in their respective countries. He stressed that those ties will be crucial in promoting the interests of the Republic of Armenia–Artsakh–Javakhk and recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The Bureau representative said the recognition issue is a matter of dignity–and not merely historical issue. "The Armenian Genocide is not a matter for bargaining. Let world powers secretly or openly fund the games of Turkish-Armenian reconciliation," said Margarian. "However–it will be impossible for them to force us–and our region to accept Turkey and its role–all at the expense of our rights," stressing that the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission has only produced confusion and treachery.
Margarian emphasized that the autonomy of the Javakhk Armenia’s has become a part of the Armenian agenda–and part of any discussion about the future of Georgia.
"As a nation–we must stand by Javakhk Armenia’s’ deman’s for autonomy. We have no right to be indifferent to the social conditions of Javakhk," he asserted. "We cannot remain silent in the face of human rights violations in Javakhk–as political hypocrisy cannot be forgiven here."
Regarding Karabagh–Margarian said that there is no doubt that it is in fact Armenian–and is the extension of the Republic of Armenia. "But the march that began in 1988 should be carried on until our beloved Shahumian–our Getashen are liberated–and until Artsakh’s reunification with Armenia is internationally recognized," he said.
In closing–Margarian called the ARF the "most powerful–reputable–and the most ideologically healthy organization in Armenian reality ? Our quest for greater power is only defined by our quest to achieve our goals."
The full text of Margarian’s speech will be featured in the February 14 issue of Asbarez.