The Netherlands Diary/Նիդ.օրագիր

The Netherlands Diary/Նիդ.օրագիր
The Netherlands Diary

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

AGBU's YERIA Delegation Meets with Displaced Families in Etchmiadzin

AGBU's YERIA Delegation Meets with Displaced Families in Etchmiadzin
During its trip to Armenia earlier this month, the AGBU Europe led delegation of the YERIA Initiative accompanied by 15 European journalists and MP's visited some of the displaced families from the war in Artsakh hosted by the Holy See of Etchmiadzin. 
 
The delegation met with Martha from Chouchi, Vasken and Loussiné from the Askeran region, Loussiné from Stepanakert and Serpouhi from the village of Illis. For Father Marco, "these families will stay in Etchmiadzin, as they will have great difficulties to return home, despite the multiple ceasefires, the end of the war and the regained peace".
 
The families and children hosted by Etchmiadzin worked every day for their loved ones on the front line, building camouflage nets or knitting warm clothes.
 
All of them have expressed their hope for peace and their desire to return home once the conflict is over to rebuild their homes and live free on their ancestral lands. For Vasken Avanessian, from the Askeran region, "everyone should be aware of the Panturquist ambition that President Erdogan promises to implement. What we are fighting here is a genocidal will against the Armenian people whose civilians are attacked by NATO weapons. The European Union should be vigilant about what is happening here. »
This meeting was also an opportunity for Kerem Schamberger, a German citizen of Turkish origin and member of the Left Party who accompanied the Yeria delegation to Armenia, to express his support for the Armenian people: "I am ashamed of the way the Turkish regime is acting. I would like to apologise to you personally for the Armenian genocide perpetrated by Turkey. Until Turkey recognises its history, based on the denial of the Armenian genocide, nothing will change. But I would also like to say that in Turkey there are progressive movements, forces of peace and reconciliation that are fighting against the denial of the Armenian genocide, such as MP Garo Paylan, and are therefore subject to state repression. We must support all those who defend the idea that Turks and Armenians will one day be peace in this region".
Martha, 36 years old, was herself displaced from Baku to Stepanakert with her family during the first Artsakh war: "I thought my generation would be the only one to live through the war. This war was a surprise, we were living in peace in Shushi before the war broke out on the morning of 27 September. It is very hard to see my own children being witnesses of this war, forced to flee their homes to escape hatred.». Her husband and brothers were fighting on the front line, defending their homeland. When asked if she was afraid to go home, with the risk of putting her children at such great risk, Martha answers: "My father fought for this land, my uncle died in the war, they gave their blood for our homeland. Of course the risk is great, but if another war were to break out in 20 years' time, my two sons would in turn fight for the land of their ancestors. We want to live in peace in Artsakh, we will fight to the end to claim the right to live in freedom on our land. »

To find mainstream news coverage of the Artsakh war and post-war situation, updated daily and organized by topic and language, you may visit:  www.agbu.org/artsakh
 

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