– Recognize the genocide of the Armenia’s–which happened under the Turkish Government in 1915.
– Call upon Turkey to cease the economic sanctions of the Republic of Armenia.
– Call upon the British Government not to support Turkey’s application for membership of the European Union until they have recognized the genocide in 1915 and have ceased the economic sanction
WHALES (Wales-Armenia Solidarity)–On October 30–His Excellency Dr.Vahram Abadjian–the Armenian Ambasador to the UK–and His Grace Bishop Nathan Hovhannisian–Primate of the Holy Armenian Orthodox Church in Great Britain will attend a meeting at the National Assembly of Wales.
The purpose of their visit is to proclaim to the British media and the British Establishment that the National Assembly Members–as the democratic voice of Whales–has recognized (by a majority) the truth of the Genocide of the Armenian People–carried out systematically by the Turkish government in 1915 and the years following.
This momentous occasion will be a historic day for Wales–as well as for British Armenia’s For the first time since gaining a measure of autonomy–the view of Wales on moral issue of International importance has been expressed. By so doing–the National Assembly will provide moral leadership to the Westminster government and influence them to end their collusion with Turkey in its denial of past crimes against humanity.
Representatives of all major Christian Churches in Wales (Presbyterians–Baptists–Congregationalists–Roman Catholic–Orthodox and Church in Wales)–will also be present.
The agenda will not simply be confined to marking the Recognition of the Genocide–but hopes to also raise other issues–namely–awareness of Turkey’s economic blockade of Armenia–the need for protection of Christian Armenian religious sites in Western Armenia (which currently lies within the Turkish state)–and creation of economic and cultural ties between Wales and Armenia.
ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RECOGNIZED IN WALES: DOES IT MATTER?
A Commentary from The Armenian Community (UK)* Earlier this year–Wales became an important focal point in British efforts to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Welsh churches of all denominations took a public position on the subject–while the National Assembly of Wales discussed it further. Today a majority of members at the National Assembly of Wales have recognized the Armenian Genocide and called on the British Government to do the same.
Much of the leg-work that led to these developmen’s were due to a home grown pressure group called Wales-Armenia Solidarity. This organization has worked alongside other groups over the years–such as the Gomidas Institute (UK) and the Committee for the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide–organizing lectures–exhibition–and public commemorations of the Genocide.
These efforts ran parallel to the activities of Wales-Armenia Solidarity’s ongoing lobbying efforts. Today–the National Assembly of Wales’s de facto recognition of the Armenian Genocide probably represents one of the most important developmen’s of the Armenian issue in Great Britain in recent years.
The Welsh developmen’s show that public bodies in Great Britain are willing to support the Armenian issue on the basis of morality and truth–if only approached in the right way. There are undoubtedly other groups–such as trade unions–the Greater London Council–the British Council of Churches–the Liberal Party–etc. who would also join in with support. They simply have not been approached properly–but the possibilities remain. The determining factor seems to be not a matter of great resources–but one of vision–competence–and determination. Wales-Armenia Solidarity has shown how even small groups–with minimal resources–can have a significant impact in politics.
* The Armenian Community (UK) is an independent publication on British Armenian affairs. For more information please contact [email protected]