Representatives of the Assyrian communities of different countries of the world at their meetings in Yerevan discussed establishment of a World Assyrian Research and Cultural Center in Armenia, head of the Assyrian community of Armenia Irina Gasparyan told reporters in Yerevan.
She noted that the center’s mission is to boost sustainable development of the Assyrian people, preservation of their national self-consciousness, unique culture, religion, traditions in their historical homeland Mesopotamia as well as in any other corner of the world. Assyrians met with top Armenian officials in Yerevan.
“The local community initiated establishment of the center for the purpose of expansion of cooperation between the Assyrian community of Armenia and those of different countries,” she said.
Head of the Assyrian Forum, leader of the Assyrians’ Survive Fund Elias Yalda said that the main goal of their visit to Yerevan is to strengthen ties between the Assyrians and the Armenian government. “We are Assyrians and we do not have state. We aim to restore our state in our historical homeland and hope Armenian authorities will assist us,” the Assyrian leader noted.
The Armenian Prime Minister met with the Assyrian delegation. He hailed their initiative and promised his support in establishment of the center. The Assyrians asked the Prime Minister and other top Armenian officials to support them.
“Armenia has great weight in the international arena and we asked the Armenian government to support us,” Yalda said.
She noted that their visit also pursues another purpose: “We seek to fight for recognition of the Genocide together with the Armenians. We asked the Armenian government to involve the Assyrians in the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide as well as to hold parliamentary hearings for raising the problems the Assyrian community is concerned about.”
Members of the Assyrian delegation proposed building a monument dedicated to the Assyrian Genocide in Tsitsernakaberd, as part of the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, “because both Armenians and Assyrians were killed by Turks in the Ottoman Turkey in 1914-1923.”
They call on Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide. “We work towards preventing Turkey’s membership to the European Union until Turkey recognizes the Armenian Genocide,” a member of the delegation said. The Assyrian delegation is going to send an open letter to the Armenian President with their proposals. At the end of the press conference they thanked the Armenian government for a warm welcome and hospitality.
Representatives of the Assyrian communities from different corners of the world arrived in Armenia on October 28. They had a range of meetings with the Armenian leadership as well as with representatives of the Assyrian community of Armenia. They visited Tsitsernakaberd on Friday and laid flowers at the memorial of the 1.5 million Armenians, victims of the Genocide. More than 800 000 Assyrians were killed by the Young Turks in 1915-1924 together with 1.5 million Armenians.