Serzh Sargsyan has made a statement on the events in Armenian populated villages of Kessab at the World Forum Convention Center in The Hague.
The Armenian leader expressed his deep concerns over the situation in Kessab.
“We all remember that in the last century the history of Kessab has been marked with forced displacement of Armenians,” he said.
Serzh Sargsyan reminded the presentees of the first tragedy in Kessab back in 1909, when Turkish military intruded into the Armenian-populated settlement. Armenians found shelter in Karadouran. After looting and burning Kessab, Turks made their way to Karadouran and committed the upper part to the flames. Armenians were transported to Latakia by sea. A year later, Aremnian refugees returned to Kessab and rebuilt their homes.
Then Serzh Sargsyan cited historical facts and recalled year 1915 when the Kessab population suffered from the Armenian Genocide and exile of Armenians. The Kessab Armenians were exiled in two directions – Deir ez-Zor and southward, toward Jordan. Thousands of Kessab residents died, most of them in the deserts of Deir ez-Zor.
“The present, third in succession, expatriation of the Kessab Armenians is a serious challenge to the mechanisms of protection of national minorities in the 21st century. I think all of us should realize that the parallels that can easily be seen should sober up all the sides,” he said.
Serzh Sargsyan also thanked Syrian authorities for measures they are taking to protect the Kessab Armenians.
“I have instructed Armenia’s diplomatic missions to the United Nations, New York and Geneva offices to see to it that special structures dealing with the protection of human rights and national minorities guarantee the security of Kessab Armenians and their return to their homes,” he said.
Serzh Sargsyan also discussed the situation with Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia.