The hachkar, or stone cross made of reddish brown volcanic rock was the gathering point at Bastejkalns for Armenians living and working in Latvia. They have families and children, many run restaurants or cafes or similar businesses. But today they are united by the pain in their hearts over what their people lived through a hundred years ago, when close to one and a half million Armenians died while millions more fled their homeland to other states around the world.
Though many other nations have condemned the genocide, including Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Germany, France, Canada and others, Latvia has not acknowledged the Armenian genocide officially.
However Latvian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica stressed that Latvia has always mentioned the victims of the massacres. She said that Latvia, from its experience, knows how difficult it can be to achieve a common interpretation of historical facts and urged Turkey and Armenia to find a way to at least begin diplomatic relations.
Today we mark 100 years one of the most terrible crime of the 20th century -Armenian massacre, never to be forgotten— Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics) April 24, 2015
On his part, deputy speaker of the Saeima Gundars Daudze was in Armenia to take part in the memorial events as well as a forum discussion on the question while meeting with members of Armenia’s National Assembly to discuss progress on the Eastern Partnership ahead of the May Summit.