Rede des Botschafters zum Tag der Deutschen Einheit

President of the National Assembly,

Members of the National Assembly,

President of the Constitutional Court,

Ministers and Deputy Ministers,

Representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church, of other churches and religious communities

Dear colleagues from the Diplomatic Corps,

Liebe Landsleute,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I warmly welcome you all on the occasion of the Day of German Unity. I would like to thank you in advance for paying full attention to me and to the President of the National Assembly for the next 10-15 minutes. I promise I will be brief.

This year, we celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Germany. I think, there is no need to explain in detail how broadly and deeply the relations have developed since 1992.

This year, we have already offered a series of cultural events on the occasion of this jubilee. At this point, I would like to draw your attention to two other upcoming unique events: the dance performance of the Halle Tanzbühne Berlin on October 5 in the context of the High festival - we also installed a video presentation in the anteroom for your information - as well as the world premiere of PIANO Battle Meets Orchestra on October 6. This special year will culminate in the opening of the Goethe Center for Culture and Language in late autumn.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Our wide-ranging cooperation is aimed - above all - at assisting Armenia in the process of reforming and modernizing its state and the society. I am convinced that without this modernization, the Armenian government will not be able to achieve its ambitious goals.

Allow me to briefly elaborate on the subject of modernization. Germany is celebrating a very special anniversary this year: Almost exactly 500 years ago, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther announced his programme to reform the Catholic Church from inside.

The essence of his approach was a bombshell: Each person's destiny, before and after death, does not depend on the blessing of the church, rather: Every human being can trust in the grace of God. I dare say: No other singular event in German history, perhaps even in the whole of European history, has led to such a revolutionary process for the inner liberation of man and women.

And with his new understanding of the relations between God and Man, Martin Luther set free tremendous new energies: Man is ultimately responsible for himself. To me, Martin Luther has been instrumental to the process of modernization that we have seen in most parts in Europe for the last 500 years. Even today, I regard Luther's work as highly relevant, because reform and modernization efforts depend in particular on the responsibility of each individual.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To conclude, let me express my deep gratitude. The success story of 25 Years of Diplomatic Relations would not have been possible without the great commitment of our Armenian partners as well as of the many German institutions that are active here.

Liebe Landsleute, für Ihren unermüdlichen Einsatz möchte ich Ihnen ganz herzlich danken. Deutschland genießt auch deswegen so einen guten Ruf in Armenien wegen Ihrer vorbildlichen Arbeit hier. Mein besonderer Dank gilt meinem Team in der Botschaft.

Finally, I would like to thank the generous sponsors of this event: Ararat, Paulaner, Kilikia and Jermuk.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I should now like to invite you to raise your glasses and propose a toast to Armenian German Friendship and to the people of Armenia.