FM Mnatsakanyan visiting Kigali Genocide Memorial

KIGALI, RWANDA — On April 5, within the margins of his official visit to Kigali, Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan met with Donatille Mukabalisa, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of Rwanda.

Minister Mnatsakanyan underscored Armenia’s commitment to develop sectoral cooperation with the African continent, with this regard, highlighting the platforms of international structures, particularly, the platform of the International Organization of La Francophonie.

Both sides commended the existing good potential for bringing closer the two nations which are geographically far from each other. In this context, the importance of intensifying parliamentary diplomacy and organizing reciprocal visits between Armenia and Rwanda were emphasized.

Presenting the changes in Armenia after the Velvet Revolution and following developments, Minister Mnatsakanyan emphasized that the reforms implemented by the Government on the basis of the broad popular mandate are aimed at strengthening democracy in the country and providing equal opportunities in the economic sphere.

Touching upon the steps taken to prevent crimes against humanity and genocides, Minister Mnatsakanyan noted that Armenia, as a responsible member of the international community, will continue to consistently advance the agenda of genocide prevention. The interlocutors stressed the importance Armenia and Rwanda to undertake joint efforts to advance prevention agenda on international fora.

Donatille Mukabalisa welcomed and highly appreciated Zohrab Mnatsakanyan’s participation in the events dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.

Responding to reporters question about the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire in 1915, the minister reminded that the legal term genocide was developed by Raphael Lemkin, the international community adopted the convention on genocide in 1948 and the Armenian genocide very much the source of examination of why and how these things can happen.

In the minister’s words, the denial to recognize genocide, denialism is very painful and haunts generations. “ We fail to recognize the damage of the generations when justice is denied. There are over five generations now who are the survivors or the descendants of the survivors. We have seen the depth of the calamity that genocide brings. It happened to the Armenians, followed by Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide,” said the minister, adding “Everytime we stand in the international community and say “never again”, but it is not enough. We ask ourselves the question: are we serious, is it enough, have we been paying attention to the signs of genocidal tendencies which can be detected early. Have we been acting early to prevent, or we just let it go to face the calamity.”

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