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October 2, 2022
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Address of H.E. Dr. Sergey Minasyan, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Romania, on the occasion of the Independence Day of Armenia

The 21st of September is celebrated in Armenia and by Armenians worldwide as Independence Day embodying the Armenians’ centuries-old dream of sovereign statehood. The Independence Day marks the day when the Armenian nation voted in a referendum in 1991 in favor of creating and building its own destiny.

From the very first days of its independence, Armenia has been committed to the global values of democracy, free speech and freedom for all, and it is on the basis of these values that Armenia, by means of free and democratic elections, formed the government that initiated radical reforms in all spheres, paving the way to Armenia’s development in the new realities.

A short moment in the long history of the Armenian people, the 31 years of independence have been filled with hard work, development, economic growth and democratic progress, and at the same time, with economic hardships and political challenges. From the moment of its creation, the young Republic of Armenia has faced grave challenges stemming from the anti-Armenian policies of neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey.

As these antagonistic policies continue, it is in the last few days, on September 13, 2022, that a new military aggression was unleashed by Azerbaijan against the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia. In a blatant violation of international law, Azerbaijan has shelled Armenian towns and villages using heavy weaponry, including artillery, missiles and UAVs.

Azerbaijan’s aggression represents a gross violation of the fundamental principles and commitments of the international law, including the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and many others. Armenia attaches great importance to the international community’s direct and unambiguous condemnation of Azerbaijan’s aggression and insists that nothing short of an adequate assessment of Azerbaijan’s aggressive actions and an appropriate response, including active steps by the international community, can prevent a new full-scale war in the region.

The current military aggression by Azerbaijan is the continuation of 44–day war in Nagorno-Karabakh that was unleashed in 2020 by the Azerbaijani leadership with the direct support of Turkey. The reason that military incursions into the territory of the Republic of Armenia have continued in 2021-2022 is that the international community has failed to condemn Azerbaijan’s actions and has instead placed the victim on equal footing with the aggressor.

As a country committed to European values, and an active participant of the Eastern Partnership Initiative and the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), Armenia hopes that it can rely on the support of the EU and its member states in overcoming the hardships that the people of Armenia are facing as a result of Azerbaijan’s aggression. In this context; keep in mind of Romania’s dynamic international activity, especially in the framework of the EU and NATO, we look forward to Romania’s appropriate position and the continuation of Romania’s balanced approach towards a peaceful and long-term resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Of all EU member states, Romania is one of the greatest territorial proximity and spiritual affinity to Armenia; it also serves as Armenia’s political, economic and cultural gateway to the European Union. Last year, Armenia and Romania celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations; messages on that occasion were exchanged by Foreign Ministers Ararat Mirzoyan and Bogdan Aurescu, and a special envelope dedicated to the famous Romanian-Armenian art collector Krikor Zambaccian was issued.

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The first UN country to establish diplomatic ties with the Republic of Armenia on December 17, 1991, Romania hosts one of Europe’s oldest Armenian communities that boasts a rich heritage and an active input into Romania’s development.

An integral part of the Romanian society, the Armenian community enjoys every right of an ethnic and religious minority and is supported by the state and local authorities to preserve its identity. The Armenian Apostolic Church and the Romanian Orthodox Church maintain close ties and continue to spread shared Christian values and principles. We are very grateful to the Romanian authorities for preserving the huge Armenian cultural heritage in Romania; this effort involves close cooperation within UNESCO, an organization in which Armenia celebrates the 30th anniversary of its membership this year.

For the entire European continent including Armenia, the ongoing military crisis in Ukraine has been a serious test of humanitarian capacities and political commitments. From the very first days of the crisis in February 2022, the entire staff of the Embassy of Armenia in Romania has been busy handling the arrival and transit of the Ukrainian refugees of Armenian origin and of Armenian citizens from Ukraine, for the purpose of which we have established a temporary consular section in the Romanian town of Botoshani. Armenia highly appreciates the comprehensive assistance to this effort provided by Romania’s central and local government bodies as well as by the Armenian community of Romania, especially by organizations operating near the Romanian-Ukrainian border.

An important element in our bilateral and multilateral agenda is the cooperation in the parliamentary dimension. Our joint efforts to achieve a new progress in that area were discussed during our meeting with the acting President of the Romanian Senate Mrs. Alina Gorghiu on the 4th of August of this year.

Another recent event in the bilateral relations between Armenia and Romania was a round of political consultations held on the 12th of September, 2022 in Yerevan between delegations led by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Paruyr Hovhannisyan and the State Secretary of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Iulian Fota. During the consultations, avenues towards further deepening of the cooperation between the two countries were discussed in both bilateral and multilateral dimensions. In the framework of its visit to Armenia, the Romanian delegation was received by Garegin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, and by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan, laid flowers to the Memorial of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide and visited the Armenian Genocide Museum.

I would like to conclude by expressing my hope that both Armenia and Romania will do their best to deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation, to achieve the goals set forward and to raise the benchmark of the mutual relationship to a new level, given the remarkable potential of our two nations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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