Mountainous (Nagorno) Karabakh Republic President Robert Kocharian, during his tour in South America, on May 27, 1996, visited the Armenian Cultural Association centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Bureau member Mario Nalbandian welcomed Kocharian, praising his message of “strengthening the spirit of unity in the name of national interests of the Armenian people.” He added that the ARF organization in South America is working diligently to garner recognition for the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and secure assistance to the region through negotiations with several South American governments.
“The pursuit of the Karabakh struggle, forces us to put all else aside and heed your calls,” stated Nalbandian.
“We welcome your presence among us and reaffirm our commitment to work side by side with you and to heed the calls from Karabakh,” concluded Nalbandian.
In his remarks, Kocharian thanked the ARF and its affiliated organizations for the invitation, underscoring an issue which he termed “the responsibility of the people of Karabakh.”
“When we began our struggle we did not envision that it would turn into a pan-Armenian concern,” said Kocharian explaining that the people of Karabakh simply responded to pressures from Azerbaijan, “which turned into a war and brought us to the situation created today.”
Kocharian stated that “when the Karabakh question became a large issue, it brought a responsibility to bear upon our shoulders… We concluded that [the Karabakh question] became a factor by which the Armenian nation could be united.”
He expressed his satisfaction for having the opportunity to meet with the representatives of the ARF, saying, “I am confident that you will do everything on your part to unite the Armenian nation around one ideal.”
“The question of Karabakh is a force strengthening Armenian statehood,” declared Kocharian.
In his remarks Kocharian also discussed the rift between the ARF and the authorities of Armenia, noting that this disagreement effects not only Armenia, Karabakh and the ARF, but the entire Armenian nation.
He assured the audience that through regular weekly meetings with the ARF Bureau representative in Karabakh he is able to coordinate the NKR government’s activities with the party. He also announced that there are no disagreements between the ARF and the Karabakh authorities.
Kocharian also stated that he is doing his utmost to mend the rift between the ARF and the Armenian authorities, adding that visits and meetings with ARF officials, such as this one, are steps toward understanding the situation.