Arto Oksaian: “My greatest desire is to serve Armenia”

On October 3, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received the delegation led by re-elected chairman of the Parish Council of the French city of Nice Arto Oksaian. The delegation included representatives of the Armenian community of Nice, including Marie and Hagop Altipalakian, as well as Avedis Oksaian from New Jersey and Arakel Atchemyan from Glendale.

Greeting the guests, the Minister of Diaspora asked them about the community and upcoming programs and attached importance to the pro-national activities of Arto Oksayan aimed at consolidating and reinforcing the community and maintaining strong ties with the Homeland. Hranush Hakobyan stated that Diaspora Armenians have two objectives, that is, to keep the honor of the Homeland and all Armenians high and to be engaged in the solutions to Armenian national issues (recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, recognition of Artsakh’s independence and lobbying).

Chairman of the Parish Council of Nice Arto Oksaian expressed gratitude for the cordial reception and congratulated the Minister on her reappointment. “I have been a citizen of the Republic of Armenia for the past two years. My greatest desire is to serve Armenia. The great duty of all Armenians of the Diaspora is to stand by Armenia’s side. Helping the Homeland is a glory for every Diaspora Armenian. Armenia has to tell us Diaspora Armenians how we can help.”

The Minister generously gave Oksaian a clarification by saying the following: “There are seven issues that Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora need to solve together, and those issues are the following:

  1. Strengthening and reinforcement of Armenia,
  2. Settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,
  3. Recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide,
  4. Preservation of the Armenian language,
  5. Further organization and consolidation of Diaspora Armenians
  6. Consolidation around the Armenian Church,
  7. Support and assistance to Armenians in danger.

Other issues are also important, but they are not primary issues. In fact, today, by the order of the President of the Republic of Armenia, two plans carrying humanitarian assistance (food clothes) were sent to Syria. One of our employees is among the people escorting the team.”

The guests expressed their gratitude for the reception and interesting conversation and shared their impressions of Armenia.

Arto Oksaian’s brother, Avedis Oksaian is based in the USA and hadn’t been to Armenia for 24 years. “I am charmed by Yerevan and Stepanakert. They have changed a lot. We need to contribute to further development and strengthening of Armenia,” he added.

Arakel Atchemyan touched upon the issue of placing deposits in Armenian banks and expressed willingness to make an investment in the Homeland.

Marie and Hagop Altipalakian also expressed their admiration of the changes that are taking place in Armenia. “Every year, we visit Armenia and see that our Homeland looks newer and more beautiful. A lot of progress has been made. I admire the fact that the streets of Yerevan are clean, the passageways are new, and the people dress and behave properly. The people are kind, cordial and educated,” Mrs. Altipalakian particularly said.

Mr. Altipalakian was excited and satisfied as he mentioned the high level and accessibility of stomatological services in Armenia and stated that many of his acquaintances, including foreigners prefer to come to Armenia when they have tooth problems.

The sides discussed issues related to the preservation of the Armenian identity and language, as well as issues related to the strengthening and development of Armenia-Diaspora relations.

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