29 September 2017, 16:34
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The Sixth Armenia-Diaspora Forum

The Sixth Armenia-Diaspora Forum under the slogan "Mutual Trust, Unity and Responsibility" started in Yerevan on Monday.

            The forum, which took place on September 18-20, is timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the May heroic battles and the proclamation of the First Republic of Armenia, as well as the Erebuni-Yerevan-2800 holiday.

            The forum was attended by heads of departments, experts from Armenia and Artsakh, as well as prominent figures of the Armenian Diaspora, including Turkish MP Karo Paylan. Representatives of the Armenian diaspora structures of Belgium, the USA, Russia, Argentina, Lebanon, Portugal, Canada, Iran, Romania, the United Arab Emirates and Syria will make presentations.

            The opening ceremony was attended by Presidents of Armenia and Artsakh Serzh Sargsyan and Bako Sahakyan, Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II and Minister of Diaspora of Armenia Hranush Hakobyan.

            The agenda also included speeches of Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, Defense Minister Vigen Sargsyan and Artsakh Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan.

 

            For the first time in the work of the forum, there were identified four main areas:

-     The main tasks of the development of Armenia

-     Features of Armenia's defense policy in the current challenges

-     Foreign policy agenda

-     The main tasks of preserving the Armenians

 

            To organize work in these areas, the Ministry of Defense, Foreign Affairs, International Economic Integration and Reforms, as well as the Diaspora, were selected as the responsible departments. In the framework of the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Forum, educational institutions, wine, cognac and textile producers presented their achievements. Artsakh also presented its economic and cultural achievements.

            The Spokesman for the youth community of Lebanese Armenians Aaron Shkhrtumyan told a Sputnik correspondent - “Such forums raise the spirit of patriotism in the diaspora, and build up the connection of the diaspora with the homeland - all that contributes the strengthening of the national identity of Armenians,”. That was not the first time of his participating in the forum and Mr. Shkhrtunyan is confident of its importance and necessity for the Armenians. The forum contributes not only to the strengthening the ties between the diaspora and its historical homeland, but also to establish these ties.

 

            “The Diaspora and the homeland are doomed to cooperate, which is the basis for preserving the national identity of Armenians outside the historical homeland,” - The spokesman stressed.

 

            According to him, even in the Lebanese community, which is considered to be one of the traditional communities of the world for many years, there are already disagreements - community leaders do not perform their duties properly.

            Mr. Shhrtumyan in his speech talked about the issues such as migration, assimilation, ignorance of the native language and a number of others.

“The Diaspora is the power of Armenia, and works for the benefit of strengthening the historic homeland,” said a compatriot from Lebanon.

            This opinion is shared by a 40-year-old teacher, an American Armenian Minas Kojayan, who arrived to participate in the forum with certain expectations. He wants the Diaspora Armenians to retain their identity.

 

            “We must prevent our youth from assimilating,” - Mr. Kojayan stressed.

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