In the world 11:16 25/03/2014

Serzh Sargsyan makes press statement on Kessab in The Hague

Armenian President Sezh Sargsyan made a press statement concerning the events in Kessab at the World Forum Convention Center in The Hague, the presidential press service reported. 

The President expressed his deep concern over the events in Kessab. “All of us perfectly remember the history of Kessab, which was unfortunately full of hellish realities of deportations in the last 100 years,” said Serzh Sargsyan.

The President noted that the first scourge was back in April 1909 when the Turkish armed detachments invaded Kessab. The Armenians took shelter in mountain Garaturan and on the coast. After setting Kessab on fire and plundering it, Turks made their way to Garaturan, burned and looted the houses of the upper district. A French ship transported Armenians to Latakia. After living in Latakia for one year, the emigrants returned to Kessab and rebuilt their houses.

When touching upon the historical facts, Serzh Sargsyan also recalled another date – events of 1915, when the Kessab population also experienced migration and exiles of the Armenian Genocide. Armenians of Kessab were exiled in two directions: to Deir ez-Zor and to the south up to Jordan. Thousands died en route, the majority perished in Deir ez-Zor deserts.

“The third deportation of Kessab Armenians today is a serious challenge to ethnic minority rights protection mechanisms of the 21st century. I think everyone should realize that these parallels should sober all the sides,” underlined the President of Armenia.

The President thanked the Syrian authorities for the steps being taken to protect the Armenians in Kessab at this difficult moment.

“I have already instructed the diplomatic missions at the UN Headquarters in New York and Geneva to raise the issue of ensuring the security of the Armenians in Kessab and their safe return to their permanent places of residence at the structures dealing with human rights and ethnic minority rights issues,” said President Sargsyan.

The President also had a consultation with the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia Aram I in connection with the current situation.

Serzh Sargsyan said that the Embassy of Armenia in Syria works on the program of measures to support the Armenians in Kessab. The program will be implemented in a full scale.

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