Pan-Armenian Declaration best answer to Turkey – Ruben Safrastyan

 

 

The Pan-Armenian Declaration on the 100thanniversary of Armenian Genocide is an unprecedented event – Armenia, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and the Armenian Diaspora issued the first-ever joint declaration, Ruben Safrastyan, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, told reporters on Friday.

“I am deeply convinced that the common will the Armenian people is showing on the threshold of the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide is the greatest benefit.

“The declaration is evidence that all Armenians perceive the issue as requiring tremendous efforts and that Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian Diaspora are acting jointly. This is the best answer to Turkish authorities’ policy,” Mr Safrastyan said.

The declaration proves that it is time for the issue to be considered in its legal respects.

“We must start the most serious work and carry it through – having the issue considered in its legal respects thus achieving our historical aim. Yes, for decades we have made efforts at recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, and it is time for the issue to be considered in legal respects. I think the relevant work will be done at a proper level,” Mr Safrastyan said.

 

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2015 will be politically turbulent for Armenia, says expert

An Armenian analyst on Friday predicted a politically agitated year for Armenia, citing the pan-national declarion on the Genocide centennial, the French president’s recentstatement to visit the country and Turkey’s countermeasures as factors needing public attention.
“There is an impression that Turkey will keep inciting provocations through Azerbaijan to divert attention,” Karen Bekaryan told reporters on Friday, noting that the country’s efforts would be directed to not only its domestic audience but also the international community.
Addressing the heated developments of 2015 – particularly the downing of an Armenian helicopter by Azerbaijan and the repeated acts of sabotage along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the Nagorno-Karabakh Line of Contact – the expert said he sees that they signal continuing provocations and instabilities throughout the year.  “And if it is within the locality that exists today, that’s first of all to our army’s honor,” he added.
Bekaryan said he doesn’t expect major developments in the peace talks over Nagorno-Karabakh, adding that the mediators themselves see that any proposal made is doomed to be short-lived.

Armenia, unlike Azerbaijan, has higher status in Minsk Group – politician

In an interview with Tert.am, Styopa Safaryan, Chairman of the Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs (AIISA), commented on the latest statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.
According to him, the trend stems from NATO’s recent summit in Wales. What’s even more, Safaryan says he knows from a high-ranking official Armenia’s rating has been morally higher than Azerbaijan’s since the Armenian helicopter was downed by Azerbaijani troops. That step by Azerbaijan, as well as the obstacles to retrieve the bodies of the Armenian helicopter crew members, filled the mediators with disgust.
“Some of steps taken by the mediators in the recent months are extremely notable in that they are creating a new situation. You must remember – although not much has changed since the NATO Summit – that we have a new message concerning Nagorno-Karabakh. And it showed the Western nations’ attitude rather than that of NATO. That was followed by the downing of an Armenian helicopter and the United States’ attitude to the Armenian side’s consequent actions.
“This was probably aimed to encourage Azerbaijan’s punishment by the Armenian side, I have to also state that many in the diplomatic circles – I will not mention names – say that Armenia’s rating is morally high in contrast to Azerbaijan’s, because its [Azerbaijan’s] move to down the helicopter and the actions not allowing our [air forces] to retrieve the dead bodies, had provoked disgust. So that is why the Armenian side’s operations received appraisal,” he said.
Commenting on possible influence by the West, the politician said he sees their tools of pressures against Azerbaijan exhausting themselves. “And we apparently observe a change of attitude, as the tools designed to influence Azerbaijan do not work. And its blatant threats to the West’s interests and peace in the region literally beget a desire to punish them, be it though through a third person – the Armenian side. I therefore think that we have been in this situation for several months, and so we need to change not only the doctrine of punishing and restraining the adversary – as did [President] Serzh Sargsyan in his speech and the minister of defense in his clarification – but also have a politically well-revised and edited strategy, as there are common interests. Nobody has made pubic statements about them, but they are visible and can simply strengthen Armenia’s positions,” he addeda

Armenia’s premier receives small, medium businessmen

 

Alexander Ghazaryan, Head of the Letters Department, Government of Armenia has invited small and medium businessmen to Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan to discuss the problems arousing the businessmen’s concern.

Earlier, Armenia’s Deputy Minister of Finance Vakhtang Pirumyan presented the implementation of agreements with small and medium businesses over the new turnover tax, which was to be enforced on October 1, 2014. However, the enforcement was postponed unto February 1 because of protests.

Armenia’s premier promised to hold a meeting with protesters on Friday especially because the government has kept all of its promises.

Israel’s president indirectly recognized Armenian Genocide – opinions

The mention of the Armenian Genocide by President of Israel Reuven Rivlin during his speech in commemoration of the Jewish Holocaust at the UN General Assembly was actually indirect recognition of the Armenian Genocide, political scientist Hmayak Hovhannisyan told Tert.am.

The international community is making similar comments on the Israeli president’s speech as well.

“The Israeli president also clearly mentioned at the UN the fact that, however hard one has to ignore the truth for political reasons, it will inevitably require admission. His statement was a weighty one and inspires hopes that the process of recognition of the Armenian Genocide will gain new momentum on the threshold of the centennial, in defiance of Turkish diplomatic cunning,” he said.

Surrounded by Islamic states, none of which has so far recognized the Armenian Genocide, Israel has had to remain passive, avoiding an official recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

“It should be noted that numerous renowned Jewish figures both in and outside Israel have repeatedly raised the issue of the Armenian Genocide, drawing parallels with the Jewish Holocaust, especially in the context of methods and purposes of annihilation of people. They pointed out that Turkey-committed Armenian Genocide, inspired Hitler and German Nazis to commit the Holocaust. By mentioning [the Armenian Genocide], the Israeli president unequivocally said that that the atrocity proved a precedent for the organizers of the Jewish Holocaust,” Mr Hovhannisyan said.

Asked whether the Israeli president’s statement could cause any problems in Turkey-Israel relations, the expert said that different states interpret any global problem in their own interests.

“Certainly, the Armenian Genocide has now become a problem states are seeking to use as a means of forcing Turkey into changing its behavior in their own interests. They are also trying to make the problem a touchstone of Turkey’s readiness to adopt a policy of adopting the western set of values. As a most important nation in the Middle East, which plays a major role in the western civilization, Israel considers it important to test Turkey’s conduct and intentions,” Mr Hovhannisyan said.

In remarks in front of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Mr Rivlin said, in particular:

“In 1915, the days of the Armenian Genocide, Avshalom Feinberg of the NILI underground [A Jewish spy network in Ottoman Palestine] wrote the following: ‘My teeth have been worn away by anger, who is next? I have walked on sacred and holy ground, on the road to Jerusalem, and asked myself if it is this time that we live in—1915–or in the days of Titus or Nebuchadnezzar? And I asked myself whether I may cry for the hurt of the daughter of My people alone and if Jeremiah did not shed his tears of blood also for the Armenians?’”

Rivlin added: “Feinberg wrote that exactly 100 years ago. 100 years of hesitation and denial. In the Land of Israel of the time, in which I was born, no one denied the murder that occurred. The residents of Jerusalem, my parents, saw them coming by thousands, starving, burning sticks snatched from the fire. In Jerusalem they found refuge and their descendants live there to this day.”

Political scientist Ruben Mehrabyan points out that the Israeli president’s speech was actually indirect recognition of the Armenian Genocide. He advises remembering that the issue has for years been within the context of Turkey-Israel relations.

“It is sociological surveys conducted in Israel that show that most of Israel’s population views the events as nothing but genocide. I am sure that Israeli society has no problem about it. Another question is that it has not so far been legally formulated given the context of Turkey-Armenian relations,” he said.
Israel had for year been Turkey’s ally – even until Recep Erdogan’s presidency. However, Turkey’s Middle East policy has caused tension in the bilateral relations.

“Their relations were affected long ago, with more and more problems arising. Calls about the 1915 events are gaining strength in Israel now, with even officials calling the events genocide – and the president himself has uttered the word now, which is unprecedented,” Mr Mehrabyan said.

As to the possibility of Israel officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide, he said:

“Given the Israeli society’s logic, one day Israel will officially recognize it. It just needs some time and a way to pass. Regrettably, Armenian-Israeli political and economic relations are at a much lower level now than they could have been.”

Pan-Armenian declaration makes appropriate references to intn’l law

The Pan-Armenian Declaration, adopted after the Genocide Centennial Committee’s latest session in Yerevan, contains properly selected references to norms of international law, an Armenian historian has said, praising the professionalism of the specialists who drafted the document.
“I consider the document – the declaration which has been adopted – an absolute success, as it comprehensively addresses the issue, reflecting our approaches,” Bagrat Yesayan, a member of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaksutyun (ARF-D) and a former editor-in-chief of the newspaper Yerkir, told Tert.am.
Asked whether by saying “our approaches” he means their political party or the prevalent approaches in Armenia, the politician said he finds that the declaration reflects the entire Armenian nation’s stand.
As to weather the ARF-D is not more radically-disposed to the issue, Yesayan replied, “If Dashnaksutyun had any reservation, they would have been expressed that; we have our representatives in the Centennial Committee, so they would have at least raised their voice to say that something isn’t in line with our approaches.”
The Declaration was promulgated Thursday night in a ceremony held at the Genocide Memorial after the Committee’s session. The document, reflecting Armenia and its diaspora’s approaches to the international recognition and condemnation of the tragic crime, is full of references and citations of norms of international law (UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes against Humanityand other UN conventions, and different other documents , including the Peace Treaty of Sevres and the Arbitral Award on Turkish Armenian Boundary by Woodrow Wilson).
Khosrov Harutyunyan, a former prime minister of Armenia who now represents the ruling Republican faction in parliament, says he believes that the Declaration is an effort to better express Armenia and the Armenian nation’s political-legal position on the issue.
“This testifies to the fact that the Declaration is not just a piece of paper stemming from emotional and nationalist sentiments, but rather a document anchored on the fundamental approaches of international law,” he said.
Harutyunyan said he finds that the document, one copy of which will be sent to the United Nations’ secretary general, is more targeted at the international community rather than the domestic audience.
According to Armen Martirosyan, a deputy leader of the opposition Heritage party, the document’s success is due to a deep political conflict. “It is the  fact that Armenia is now within the realm of the Armenia-Turkey protocols, because it hasn’t yet recalled its signature. So it entirely runs counter to the Declaration,” he told our correspondent.
Tert.am also sought comments from Karen Kocharyan, a political engineer specialized in electoral technologies, over possible anti-propaganda efforts by Turkey. “One doesn’t have to prove to an Armenian that a crime of genocide was actually committed in line with a provision of the UN [convention],” he explained.
As for the key message, Kocharyan said he thinks that the world is guiding itself by double standards. “They are trying to call attention to the provisions which they have written themselves, especially the ones that address the same Kosovo or the Jewish Holocaust, but they won’t see those provisions whenever we are at issue,” he noted.
The expert said he sees that the message is addressed to the states which haven’t recognized and do not want to ever recognize the Armenian Genocide.