The third President of the Republic of Armenia (RA) Serzh Sargsyan issued a statement before Thursday’s hearings of the National Assembly Inquiry Committee for Examining the Circumstances of the Military Activities of April 2016. Below we present an abridged version of this statement.
President Sargsyan has agreed to take part in these hearings, as he considers it his duty to close the topic of all kinds of speculations related to the four-day April war.
Before the sitting of the committee, the RA third President made a statement, which reads [in particular]:
The issue of the April war must in no way divide our people, weaken our unity, and endanger our defense capabilities.
I am proud of our army. In April 2016, our boys fought with great courage.
They crushed and stopped the advance of the elite [military] divisions of Azerbaijan, and according to the intelligence data of ours and some of our partners abroad, they inflicted lot more losses on the adversary than we had.
The soil is kept with blood. And glory to all those with whose blood the soil of the homeland is soaked.
However, the day will come when Baku will try to do the same again, and when they take that step, it will be impossible to save everyone again.
If we want to have no losses, we must give up our national goal of living freely and with dignity in our own homeland.
After the war, negotiations with the adversary on the diplomatic front shall bring peace and ensure the implementation of that agreement—but not at the expense of the vital interests of our people.
We have no right to be divided on issues of national importance and, first of all, on the issue of Artsakh [(Nagorno-Karabakh)].
I myself, too, have questions according to all the rules of war—on sowing dark suspicions among the society by some forces about the victory of the Armenian army, various speculations, the purpose of setting up a parliamentary inquiry committee into the April war, and a number of other topics.
And today, at the session of that committee, I am going to look directly into the eyes of the committee members and say what I know and, also, what I think.