Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II

Catholicos Issues Statement Rejecting Azerbaijani Rule over Artsakh


ECHMIADZIN — On May 23, Karekin II, the Catholicos of All Armenians, presided over a meeting of the Supreme Spiritual Council at the Mother See in Holy Echmiadzin, augmented by the participation of bishops of the Mother See. Participants in the meeting discussed the challenges facing Armenia and Artsakh, as well as statements made this week regarding the Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiation process.

Afterwards, the Supreme Spiritual Council issued the following statement:

“The vision of a free and independent existence for Armenia and Artsakh has become a reality in the last three and a half decades, thanks to the heroic struggle, sacrifice, and commitment of our people around the world. The shining example of courage shown by our children martyred in defense of the motherland has fortified the spirit of our people, and their determination to face every adversity in order to continue our historical presence on our native land.

“The tragic results of the 44-day Artsakh war placed new security challenges—indeed, an existential threat—before our homeland; but even under these difficult circumstances, the zeal of our people and our national institutions to persist in protecting the just rights of Armenia and Artsakh did not diminish.

“A peace agenda is currently being presented to the public; however, statements made by the Republic of Armenia’s Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan, during a May 22 press conference, have revealed its true intentions, and have made evident the unacceptably dangerous positions that have been adopted by the authorities leading Armenia’s negotiation process, regarding the future disposition of Artsakh and certain areas bordering Armenia.

“The Supreme Spiritual Council rejects and condemns these unilateral concessions that are being ‘justified’ under the pretext of peace. By shortsightedly recognizing the Republic of Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan, the Armenian authorities would inevitably confront our brothers and sisters in Artsakh with a new genocide and de-patriation. The independence of Artsakh and Armenian territories, affirmed at the cost of our children’s blood, is not subject to bargaining. The homeland belongs to everyone, and decisions related to the homeland should be made in accordance with the fundamental provisions of the Republic of Armenia’s Constitution and legislation—and not at the discretion of individual political parties and groups.

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“We urge the authorities to move away from the mentality of defeatism, and from the destructive steps resulting from it, to find reasonable and dignified solutions that will overcome our national challenges. We appeal to all our people and national institutions to soberly assess the complex situation that exists at this fateful moment, and to remain steadfast and united in the pursuit of our national interests: the realized right of self-determination for Artsakh. In this matter, we see the decisive expression of our people as necessary.

“Peace for our homeland; safe and secure life for all our people, in Armenia, Artsakh, and the Diaspora.”



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