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Monday, May 17, 2010

Uruguayan President Marks 95th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide &
Dedicates New Khatchkar

The President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, on April 24 participated in a
commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide when a
khatchkar (stone-cross monument) was erected in Montevideo's Armenia
Square. The ceremony was initiated by AGBU's Montevideo Chapter, with
the Social Democrat Hunchak party, the Armenian National Center, and the
Commission of Armenia Square.

The head of the Uruguayan Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church,
Archbishop Hakob Glnjian, consecrated the khatchkar, which was carved by
artist Ruben Nalbandian in Armenia. Uruguay's Education and Culture
Minister, Ricardo Ehrlich, gave a speech remembering the Genocide.
Uruguay's Tourism Deputy Minister, Lilian Keshishian, thanked the
government on behalf of the Armenian community for supporting the

President Mijica is the only Uruguayan president to have visited
Armenia. Speaking afterwards to a newspaper, the Consul of Armenia to
Uruguay, Ruben Aprahamian, called the presence of Uruguay's president
"very important," and cited Uruguay as the first country to recognize
the Armenian Genocide, in 1965.

The Consul went on to say that there is a commercial bond growing
between the two countries, with a prospective trade in livestock
forthcoming, pending negotiations. "It's been 18 years since the
Republic of Armenia became independent," he said. "The country is
already doing a lot of business with Asian countries, and we'd like to
start the same in South America."

The khatchkar was erected with the financial support of
Uruguayan-Armenian benefactor Karlos Ketsoyan.

Established in 1906, AGBU ( is the world's largest
non-profit Armenian organization. Headquartered in New York City, AGBU
preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through
educational, cultural, and humanitarian programs, annually touching the
lives of some 400,000 Armenians around the world.

For more information about AGBU and its worldwide programs, please visit