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AGBU REPRESENTATIVES PARTICIPATED IN THE REPATRIATION CONFERENCE IN ARMENIA

“1946-1948 repatriation and its lessons: The issue of repatriation today” conference organized by RA Ministry of Diaspora, National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan State University and “Noravank” scientific-educational foundation took place in the Writers’ House of Tsaghkadzor on December 12-14. The opening ceremony of the conference took place in...

“1946-1948 repatriation and its lessons: The issue of repatriation today” conference organized by RA Ministry of Diaspora, National Academy of Sciences, Yerevan State University and “Noravank” scientific-educational foundation took place in the Writers’ House of Tsaghkadzor on December 12-14. The opening ceremony of the conference took place in “Erebuni Plaza” Hotel. The messages of the RA President and the Catholicos of All-Armenians were read. RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hagopian, as well as General Manager of VivaCell company Ralph Yirikian, RA Ombudsman Armen Harutiunian, and President of the National Academy of Sciences Radik Martirossian made speeches. The opening ceremony was also attended by member of the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Central Board Vasken Yacoubian, Director of AGBU Armenian Representation Ashot Ghazarian and Deputy Director Hovig Eordekian. A short documentary was shown during the opening ceremony where AGBU’s role in that historic event was emphasized. Many historians, scholars, representatives of political and non-governmental organizations, and Diasporan-Armenians participated in the conference. During the nine consecutive sessions that lasted two days issues on repatriation, Stalin’s geopolitical endeavors, chronology of repatriation, its geography and ethnography, Catholicos Gevork VI Cheorekchian’s role, as well as the historic memory of repatriation were raised. Speeches were also made about the repressions towards the repatriates, the language issue, the current intentions of repatriation, and the materials about repatriation published in modern Diasporan press. Many repatriates and Diasporans living in Armenia spoke about their experience and memories. Eduard Melkonian, Ph.D. in history, delivered a speech entitled “AGBU’s role in the repatriation process”, while Deputy Director of AGBU Armenian Representation Hovig Eordekian’s speech was called “The repatriate about repatriation”. After lasting discussions, debates and exchange of opinions the conference was concluded by Ashot Melkonian, Director of the History Institute, who spoke about the sad pages of repatriation, but at the same time underscored the importance of it in the development of Armenia and the increase of population describing it as a patriotic initiative. The conference materials will be published in a separate digest.