by Marianna Mkrtchyan
"Time constraint does not act as a statutory limitation for the crime of genocide, and with the Armenian Genocide Centenary ahead I would like to reiterate the importance of the international community's recognition and condemnation of that unprecedented crime," said President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan in a statement at the High-level Meeting on the 5th Anniversary of the Eastern Partnership in Prague on 24 April, according to the president's press-service.
"Today I embarked on the road to Prague from the Armenian Genocide Memorial, where I paid tribute to the memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide. On April 24, 1915 in Constantinople hundreds of Armenian intellectuals - writers, artists, doctors, public figures - were detained and slaughtered in accordance with a premeditated criminal plan devised and meticulously implemented by the Ottoman state structures, and thus had been launched what was designated in the human history as the first genocide of the 20th century.
Today I would like to enunciate a word of gratitude to those states, organizations and individuals, who extended their hand to support us at the times of our national tragedy, recognized and condemned the Armenian Genocide," the president said.
Serzh Sargsyan highlighted that Armenia is committed to the cause of recognition and condemnation of all genocides around the world, and the country has always been actively working in the international arena for the strengthening of the genocide prevention cooperation and legal instruments. In the framework of the United Nations Armenia has initiated and tabled a number of resolutions aimed at strengthening legal foundations for the struggle against the recurrence of the crime of genocide.
"Turkey that strives for an EU membership continues to avoid its own past, circumvent responsibility, and for decades on has been falsifying history by pursuing policy of denial. Moreover, it spares no effort in order to force by all means upon other nations its denialism.
Today, thousands of Turkish citizens, whose numbers grow from year to year in spite of persecution and prosecution, repudiate Turkey's policy of denial and stand by truth. Collating with one's own history and understanding its consequences are important prerequisites for reconciliation. We believe that encouraging people to people contacts is another important prerequisite for reconciliation. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible since there are artificial impediments, and the border is closed.
The lack of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and last closed border of Europe continue to be a vulnerable element of the Pan-European security. It is paradoxical but nevertheless matter of fact that the EU membership aspiring Turkey sealed off its border with a neighboring country, while the borders within European Union have long become history and free movement is a basic principle," the president said in his speech.