Monday, September 18, 2006


[03:49 pm] 18 September, 2006

Of all the speeches during the opening of the Conference Armenia-Diaspora, that of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia differed radically from the speech of Robert Kocharyan. The speech of His Holiness was the only one which was greeted with long applause, and if Vardan Oskanyan didn't interrupt them in order to announce the name of the following speaker, they would last still longer.

Aram I mentioned that the past two conferences were mainly emotional and did not have clear-cut basis and voiced hope that this one will not have the same fate.

In contrast to Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II, Aram I put the stress on self-criticism mentioning that the cooperation between Armenia and the Diaspora must serve the welfare and development of the people.

The Catholicos was concerned by the fact that official Armenia speaks about the economic growth in the country while they look for the sources of the growth and its reflection on the living standards throughout the whole country. "If there is real growth, why don't we feel it equally on the living standards of the people?" The Catholicos thinks that neither the Armenian structure nor the Diaspora represent clear-cut programs.

He also mentioned that suchlike conferences are important only if there is mutual trust between the sides which is an important factor for the deep development of the links between Armenia and the Diaspora. As for expecting investments from the Diaspora, the Catholicos is convinced that the Diaspora can give much more, but it also depends on the Armenian authorities and on how they solve the problems of the country.

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