THE HAGUE — Within the framework of the official visit to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the Peace Palace in The Hague. The Prime Minister was welcomed by Piet Hein Donner, President of the Board of The Hague Academy of International Law and Chairman of the Carnegie Foundation Peace Palace.

The Prime Minister first toured the Peace Palace, then took part in the inauguration ceremony of the Armenian khachkar in the latter’s yard.

In his speech, Prime Minister Pashinyan, noted, in part:

“Dear President of the Carnegie Foundation,

I would like to thank you for being with us today on this beautiful morning in the city of peace and justice, at the premises of the Peace Palace – the temple of Peace, as Andrew Carnegie coined more than 100 years ago, and which is the house of such an important International institution as the International Court of Justice.

It’s a great honor for me to inaugurate on behalf of my nation an Armenian Khachkar or Cross-Stone as a gift from Armenia.

This is a history that we create together with you today, since the first ever Armenian cross is being erected in a city, which is known as the world’s capital of international law and justice.

There are more than 50,000 Khachkars and each of them has its own unique features. The symbolism and craftsmanship of Khachkars has been inscribed in 2010 on the UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The cross-stone is a unique manifestation development of Armenian culture; it is one of the most characteristic symbols of the Armenian identity. Having behind more than thousands years of history, the cross-stone is also a contemporary cultural phenomenon.

The Armenian people install cross-stones both in Armenia and in those hospitable countries, where they settle down due to different circumstances. Thus, the cross-stone has become a symbol and message of friendship, solidarity, cooperation and gratitude.

Dear friends,

For millennium Armenia and Armenians have strived for peace, as the ultimate goal to live and create in their homeland. Our Government is currently doing its utmost to promote the peace agenda in the region, despite the existential threats my nation is still facing.

This Cross-Stone – Khachkar symbolizes the Armenian understanding of peace and resilience and constant struggle for peace, be it in Armenian highlands and elsewhere.

Khachkar is a masterpiece and symbol of Armenian culture, its essence and has in itself the message of peace, carved in the stone that remains intact during the centuries. This is why the Khachkar was chosen as a gift to the Peace palace to symbolize generations of Armenians, who contributed to the peace in the World.

With this donation Armenia boldly reiterates its solid commitment to continue its contribution to the peace in our region and worldwide.”

Piet Hein Donner, President of the Board of The Hague Academy of International Law and Chairman of the Carnegie Foundation Peace Palace, thanked for donating an Armenian khachkar to the Peace Palace and expressed confidence that it will occupy a unique place in its territory.

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