THE PARIS CONGRESS OF 1979
The "First International Congress of Armenian Groups" was held in Paris on 3-6 September 1979. ASALA was very strongly represented at this congress and played a very influential role. The congress exerted a very considerable influence on the progressive Armenian groups in France, particularly in persuading them to become involved in terrorist activity. The main aim of this congress was to gather the Armenians of the world around a single idea and a single flag, and to make territorial demands on the basis of a careful evaluation of the political environment.
The most important proposals put forward at this congress were the following:
a. An end should be put to party and sectarian squabbles and a "Central Committee" established.
b. Measures should be taken to prevent the assimilation of Armenians in the Diaspora.
c. Military theoreticians and tacticians should be employed in their operations.
The decisions taken were as follows:
a. Extra impetus should be given to the Pan-Armenian movement. In the diaspora the concept of Armenianism should be politicised and importance given to the organization of an international "Armenian Front".
b. An investigation should be made into the possibility of help for the Armenian cause by Armenians living in the USSR and measures should be taken to facilitate such assistance.
c. Territorial claims should be made directly to Turkey.
d. The Armenian Church should be given a national character.
e. Work should be begun on the foundation of an Armenin bank.
f. Central Bureaus should be established and publication and communication facilities developed.
The Paris Congress resulted in an increase in violence and terror. ASALA was strengthened by the introduction of fresh blood. Military training was increased in a number of centres.