Mothers of about four dozen servicemen who were killed in action during the years of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in particular, during the April 2016 clashes, declared on Saturday about their joining the peace appeal of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s wife Anna Hakobian addressed to all warring sides in the world.
During a reception by Hakobian at the prime minister’s office in Yerevan, the mothers of killed Armenian soldiers urged women in Azerbaijan to join them in stopping the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.
“Let all mothers of the world rise up. We especially address our appeal to mothers in Azerbaijan. Recently on the internet they also addressed an appeal to stop the war. We don’t want war, we don’t want to lose our sons,” said Hamest Nersisian, mother of Captain Armenak Urfanian who was killed during the four-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh in April 2016.
“[We want] peace to be finally established at the borders… so that after sending their sons to the army mothers don’t have to go through excruciating wait for them to return safe and sound. We want no more mothers like ourselves in the new Armenia,” said another woman who lost her son in the conflict.
Yet another such woman added: “I am fighting for the rights of all these women, the rights of the families who have lost their sons, fathers, brothers. I am fighting for them not to lose their children anymore.”
Hakobian said in her speech that she will carry on her “Women for Peace” campaign with more confidence particularly enjoying the support of the mothers who lost their sons during the 2016 clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh. She stressed that in Armenia peace appeals addressed to Azerbaijanis usually elicit mixed reactions and after launching this campaign she also came under criticism.
“What makes your message addressed to Azerbaijani mothers also very important is that it is not accepted unambiguously by our society. After my speech I also heard accusations that I shouldn’t compare [Armenian and Azerbaijani mothers] and so on. But I want to ask you whether being a mother has ethnicity, nationality or religion,” said Hakobian.
The Armenian prime minister’s wife urged Azerbaijani women to join this peace campaign. “I hope that your voice and our voice will also reach Azerbaijani mothers, and they will, too, speak up against war and for peace. And if this happens, if our ranks grow, one day we will also get our message across to the men who issue orders to fire and start a war,” said Hakobian.
The Armenian prime minister’s wife Anna Hakobian called on the wives of former and current senior officials and wealthy businessmen to contribute to the activities of a foundation set up by Hamest Nersisian and bearing the name of her son, Captain Armenak Urfanian. “I think there will be women who will give it a thought and arrive at the conclusion that the valuables they purchased while their husbands were in office were not always earned so fairly. And they will think that by donating at least some of them to Hamest Nersisian’s foundation they can find peace of mind,” said Hakobian.
To a journalist’s remark that while they were campaigning for peace, Azerbaijani armed forces reportedly fired at an Armenian border village last night, Hakobian said that they were campaigning for peace as women and mothers and not on behalf of the state. She stressed that parallel to their peace appeal Armenia was also holding military exercises.
“Life will show who will prove victorious. Either we will win and will make them lay down their arms and sit down at a negotiating table to try to understand each other and solve this problem, or we will lose and they will continue to shoot at each other at the borders. I want to exclude the option of our defeat and want to express confidence that one day we will prevail,” the Armenian prime minister’s wife concluded.