November 14, 2003
AMBASSADOR ARMAN KIRAKOSSIAN’S CLOSING REMARKS AT ARMENIA FUND
USA TRIBUTE GALA
It is so difficult to add to speeches so eloquently said by everyone
tonight, and I do agree with all the sentiments expressed. Let
me just say a few words in conclusion.
First, I want to thank Baroness Cox on behalf of the President
and the people of Armenia. They say ‘a friend in need is
a friend indeed,’ and Lady Cox has supported and inspired
the Armenian people in Artsakh from the very beginning of their
struggle. Your support of Artsakh and your Christian spirit was
greatly of great moral assistance to all Armenians; it still means
a lot to every Armenian. I also want to thank a prominent legislator
from another great English-speaking country, Representative Pallone
for his permanent and steadfast support of Armenia, Artsakh, and
issues of concern to the Armenian-American community.
We are here to pay tribute to the visionary mission and activities
of the Armenia Fund that in many ways contributed to the revival
of the newly independent Armenian state. Since the early years
of independence, the infrastructure projects of the Fund made
a crucial difference for tens of thousands of people in hundreds
of Armenian communities in Armenia and Artsakh.
Artsakh, of course, is such a potent symbol of the latest chapter
of Armenians’ struggle for freedom and independence that
is dear to the hearts of all Armenians and, as Baroness Cox and
Representative Pallone can testify, of many foreigners as well.
Artsakh persevered in its quest for self-determination despite
the foreign aggression and destruction of war, and we all hope
for a timely, just, and lasting resolution to the conflict. I
want to acknowledge the President of Nagorno Karabakh, Arkadi
Ghukasian, who is visiting the United States on a working visit,
and wish him success during his stay and meetings in this country.
One of the most visible projects of the Hayastan Fund is the
highway of life linking Armenia and Artsakh; another highway project
is currently underway. The health of its citizens is a good indication
of the strength of a country; and the Diagnostic Center in Artsakh
– one of the reasons for today’s Gala – needs
your support and contributions.
The success story of the Armenia Fund would be incomplete without
honoring the major donors who over years so generously supported
the Fund. So, I want to thank all the donors of the Armenia Fund
for their support and their faith in the success of independent
homeland. All donors of the Fund can draw satisfaction from the
knowledge that their contributions have been well invested in
Armenia’s future. As the economy in Armenia and Artsakh
improves, the government and local citizenry can and will assume
a larger share of infrastructure-related expenses, but there will
always be room for benevolent activities.
So, support the Diagnostic Center of Karabakh today; keep Armenia
and Artsakh in your hearts and minds; and together we will the
homeland secure and prosperous.