ARF Condemns Turkish-Armenian Agreement

Gul & Sargsyan.jpg

Asbarez Post

Gul & Sargsyan.jpgThe Armenian Revolutionary Federation on Thursday strongly condemned an agreement announced by Ankara and Yerevan and said it could pull out of Armenia’s governing coalition in protest. Armenia’s main opposition forces also gave a highly negative assessment of the deal.

The party issued the following announcement:

“The pivotal issue on Armenia’s political and the national agenda in recent months has been the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations.

Asbarez Post

Gul & Sargsyan.jpgThe Armenian Revolutionary Federation on Thursday strongly condemned an agreement announced by Ankara and Yerevan and said it could pull out of Armenia’s governing coalition in protest. Armenia’s main opposition forces also gave a highly negative assessment of the deal.

The party issued the following announcement:

“The pivotal issue on Armenia’s political and the national agenda in recent months has been the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation has declared, time and again, that good-neighborly relations between the two countries can only be established after the recognition by Turkey of the Armenian Genocide and the restoration of the rights of the Armenian people. The lifting of the blockade and the establishment of diplomatic relations, without preconditions, can only serve as first steps on this path. It is absolutely unacceptable for us that relations with Turkey be normalized at the expense of Armenia’s sovereignty, the viability of its existence, or the national and state rights of future Armenian generations.

Deeply committed to these principles, we find unacceptable and condemn the signing, by Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the April 22 joint statement with Turkey.

The statement comes on the eve of the commemoration, on April 24, of the greatest tragedy of the Armenian people. The leaders of Turkey have recently made anti-Armenian announcements in general and on the Artsakh issue in particular, and have restated preconditions for the normalization of relations. The release of the statement at this time and in these circumstances is a blow to the interests of Armenia and the Armenian people.

Noting that this process implies a negative change in the direction of Armenia’s foreign policy, the ARF will, in the coming days, discuss the expediency of its continued participation in the governing coalition.”

The ARF Bureau’s Political Director, Giro Manoyan told RFE/RL that party leaders plan to meet and demand explanations from Sarkisian after he returns from a visit to Moscow. The issue is likely to be on the agenda of Saturday’s meeting of Armenia’s National Security Council as well.  ARF Supreme Council of Armenia Chairman Armen Rustamian is a member of that presidential body.

The ARF’s announcement  came the day after the party’s top leader, Hrant Markarian, publicly lambasted Sarkisian’s year-long diplomatic overtures to Turkey, saying that they have seriously damaged Armenia’s national interests. He said that Yerevan has made major concessions to Ankara while failing to secure the lifting the of the Turkish economic blockade of Armenia.
“When you draw up a roadmap for negotiations, you plan for a long, very long period,” said Manoyan. “This contradicts the notion that these negotiations must be quick and productive and that they will otherwise be meaningless,” speaking to the hasty timing of the announcement.

Related Material  ANCA’s Genocide Dilemma

  1. ARF’s leaders are not convincing

    ARF’s leadership’s position is undesirable to say the least. Not of the followers’ and certainly not the sympathizers’, who have my greatest admiration for their patriotism and devotion to community work and Hay Tad. It was written on the wall which way the government would tilt from day one. An illegitimate authority that came to power by muzzling the opposition, wrigging the elections, causing bloodshed, keeping people in prison without trials, would naturally end up losing further the support of the people. In such a situation they would look outside for support: IMF, World Bank, Russia,Turkey – you name it.

    Yet the leadership of ARF, inspite of being initially in the opposition chose to take part in the government, and hence became a participant in an unpopular, oppressive, and unpatriotic regime. Whatever the explanations, the facts speak for themselves. Blinded by their hatred towards LTP and motivated by being part of the authority – any authority – they put aside their platform and joined the oligarchs with the ridiculous expectation that their presence with several ministers in the government could make a change.

    Supposing their argument made sense, then why they continued to stay in the government after Gul’s visit and various flip-flops that the president and the foreign minister committed? Did they have to wait this long to get out of the government? Unfortunately, they did not. Even now, after the "agreement" between Ankara and Yerevan, they do not do the honourable thing by resigning from the government; instead the leadership says they  "could pull out" of the coalition, and demand explanations, something that they should have done ions ago.

    This leeds to one conclusion – The threats of the ARF leaders amount to empty rhetorics.

    1. Nareg – I Agree Entirely

      Nareg, I agree entirely with your comments, and I go further to say the Dashnak leaders in Armenia are in cahoots with Sargsyan and Nalbandian, for one simple reason, for personal financial gain. Kiro Manukian made all the right statements, to a naive group of patriotic Dashnak youths. But the mature element within the Dashnak Party no longer believes what he and other Dashnak leaders have to say. BTW, the Dashnak leaders, Vahan Hovhanissian, Armen, Rostumian, Hrair Karapetian and the others were nowhere to be seen.
      The Dashnaks are consistently two-faced in the role they play, and they create many more problems than they could ever resolve. I refer to their role in this particular unsavoury saga in my “ANCA’s Genocide Dilemma” article:  The Dashnak Party will not leave the coalition, not even for a sell-out on Genocide. 

  2. What is going on?

    I don’t know about Armenia’s internal politics, nor am I a fan of the ARF. But I couldn’t bear to hear such news just a day before April 24th. I too felt a strong blow in my face and our cause…my grand parents’ cause.

    Am I missing something here? Is there something, a victory perhaps, behind closed curtains we should all know about?

    Please, let someone explain objectively, and justify if possible, all that Armenia is doing nowadays. Is this a sell out or not? Is this the point where our interests as East and West Armenians shift? They need to open their borders at any cost, we are already out of the borders! 



    1. Minor Clarification

      Dear Ms. Ellezian,

      Opening the borders in my view is just a smoke screen.

      The Government in Armenia has not been honest with its people nor with the Diaspora. It won’t come clean and state at what cost the borders will be opened. What is the deal about Artsakh? Up to recently, a few days ago, the Turkish side through its Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister were stating that there won’t be a deal until Karabagh issue is satisfactorily resolved, which meant in harmony with Azerbaijan’s claims. Why is not the Armenian government telling straighforward what was negotiated? Why are they not publicly stating what’s what? If Karabagh’s safety is in danger, so will be Armenia’s.

      Secondly, what has been agreed on the commission of historians which Turkey was insisting on, and will use and abuse. It will tirelessly tell the international community that historians are studying, therefore there is no need of further recognitions, "give us time amd we shall sort it out with Armenia". It will be just a ploy to prolong the agony of the Diasporan Armenians.

      Do the above make sense?

      1. My concerns exactly

        Dear Mr. Nalbandian,

        Nothing is making sense at this point! 

        A while ago I read Mr. Sargsyan’s interview in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal and he sounds very confident in his negociations. Being the head of State, he has chosen his words carefully. I think we have more freedom and flexibility in the diaspora and should keep increasing the pressure in the United States. There are instances where he conveys that message, without saying it out loud. What do you think?

  3. To Nareg & Bruce – ARF has left the coalition. Surprise.

    I sit here at work, on my lousy computer, not having much time to respond to you. In any case here are some statements I’ve cut & paste from the above, and they’re pretty much in the same context.

    "Even now, after the "agreement" between Ankara and Yerevan, they do not do the honourable thing by resigning from the government"

    "and I go further to say the Dashnak leaders in Armenia are in cahoots with Sargsyan…"

    "The Dashnaks are consistently two-faced in the role they play…"

    "The Dashnak Party will not leave the coalition, not even for a sell-out on Genocide."

    I’d like to ask people, including yourselves, to stop making such (fill in the blank) statements, which are in the words of Nareg, have been made with your logic "Blinded by (your) hatred towards" a certain party/peoples, that being the Dashnaks. You JUMP at the chance of bashing the party the first opportunity you have. Have they made mistakes? Believe me they are not a perfect entity, but pray tell who is?…

    You are a Levonagan, you are this, you are that, whatever, I could care less – let’s show some respect. They agreed to take part in the coalition rather than sit on the sidelines, as they believed they could have more of an impact on the government there. You think it was naive they could have any effect? Well that is your ‘expert’ opinion. You wanted them to allign themselves with LTP? You bash Sarkisyan’s regime for its brutality, fine totally agreed, but we all know LTP’s track record, and what sort of ‘games’ they played during the entire process. Enough said.

    The ARF made a blunt statement right after the Turkish-Armenian roadmap announcement was made. They said they were reviewing the situation. And have now LEFT THE COALITION. Why you’d make statements such as the ones I copied above, I really don’t know. I assume now that they have left you will be man enough to retract some of these comments, and maybe, just maybe, rethink (if only) some of your preconceived views on other parties.

    Hajogh..  we’re gonna need it when we’re acting like this, when our country’s government is acting like this. Take care.

    1. Hakop:
      Firstly, I would like


      Firstly, I would like you to understand that many of my posts and comments are by way of ‘throwing down the gauntlet’ to whomsoever it is I am ‘Bashing’, as I know they read what I write, if for no other reason than I distribute them to a wide range of state cronies, including in the Dashnak Party. Having said that, I am pleased to see they have actually left the coalition, as I really believed they would not.

      The next question however is, why has the Dashnak Party left the coalition, and what role will they play as an ‘independent’ opposition?

      It is quite possible that, at this time of impending Mayoral elections, the Dashnaks intend to fill the void left by the likes of Artashes Gehramian and Artur Baghdasarian, both disgraced during the last Presidential election, as were the Dashnaks. As an ‘independent’ opposition’, the Dashnaks will inevitably drive a wedge between LTP and Beglarian in the upcoming Mayoral election (in cahoots with Sargsyan), which under normal circumstances, Beglarian would have virtually no chance of winning.

      Hakop, if you study the changes that Serzh’s regime has apparently introduced to the election rules and regulations, you will see that they are already using all manner of illegal and underhand tricks to get their man through. Maybe this latest Dashnak move is another one.

      Having said that, I really do hope the Dashnaks have good intentions. But that will depend mainly on pressure applied by the Dashnaks in the Diaspora (again throwing down the gauntlet), who to repeat, I hope have better consciences and intentions than the Dashnaks in Armenia.

      The bottom line is the Sargsyan regime must go, or at least be brought under control, and if this latest Dashnak move helps to that end, then good for them, and hopefully good for the Republic.

    2. Good for ARF that resigned from Sargsyan coalition

      I believe, thanks to the pressure exerted from the rank and file and the Diaspora faction of ARF some of the leaders came to their senses in Armenia. Of course all leaders are not the same nor all followers. Incidentally, that applies to all parties. Despite trying to show a common front none of them are monolithic.

      Let me explain myself prior to answering directly to your questioning of my statement "Even now, after the "agreement" between Ankara and Yerevan, they do not do the honourable thing by resigning from the government", a quotation that you picked up, and rightly so, from my earlier posting.

      I’ll take two points for illustration. There are many in ARF that in principle adhere to a socialist platform. Officially the party is a member of the Socialist International. Now, tell me in all honesty, how many people in the party practice socialist principles? And how many of them really believe in socialism? Speaking of the Diaspora, for years ARF was cooperating with the CIA and other clandestine organisations that have nothing in common with socialism. Furthermore, they supported regimes that were oppressive and counter to the aspirations of the local non-Armenian people. Weren’t they supporters of the Shah? Didn’t they call Gamal Abdel Nasser, who was the greatest symbol of contemporary  Arab nationalism "Sev Shoune"? If one is keen about protecting his national interests, he should not be in a position to counter the rightful national aspirations of others. How come the leadership supported so many governments, some of them ultra-right,  in Lebanon? Not all ARF members were supportive of the leadership’s policy.

      They argued that national interests were a priority and their intentions were to liberate Armenia from the Soviets. Fine, then why Some of their leaders cooperated with the KGB in the early days of the "Karabakh Movement" which was a cry for one of the national aspirations? Again, not all members were supportive of the leaders.

      How come that after witnessing the expansion of oligarchy and authoritarianism in Armenia during the Kocahrian years, and then during the elections being in the opposition, the ARF leadership decided to participate in Sargsyan coalition, something that everybody knew would be the extension of Kocharianism? In hindsight LTP, whose fan I am not,  seems to be right when he, in one of the statements during the election campaign said, "A vote for ARF is a vote for Sargsyan". And I think that still holds true with respect to the upcoming mayoral elections. In a sense I agree with Bruce to raise some questions and cast doubts. It’s up to ARF to answer the questions. This is neither propaganda against ARF nor slandering. It’s part of journalistic exercise on a website. It’s very crucial that the electorate in Armenia get some  answers if ARF leadership wants to regain some trust.

      The argument that being in the coalition held some hope that the ARF leadership could bring some change from within, whereas staying out would cast them into the lap of the LTP camp does not correspond to reality. Were they so naive to think that Sargsyan’s administration, in the grip of oligarchs, could be bent? They had a third option which they did not exercise. Jarankutyun and its leader Raffi Hovhannissian stayed out and did not have to join LTP’s camp. Why didn’t ARF leadership  chose that route? I don’t know about Markarian’s dealings, but rumours abound.

      It’s I think relevant to mention that ARF has axes to grind both with LTP and Hovhannissian. The former for well know reasons, and the latter because of not following the "orders" of the party while he was the Foreign minister of Armenia. To date, after more than a decade, from ARF sympathizers, I hear expressions of Hovhannissian being a "traitor" . I don’t know about how party members view the matter.

      The answer lies elsewhere. The ARF leadership, unfortunately, believes that being in the government, and sometimes any government – is a must. Too bad they did not follow that dictum back in the early days of Soviet rule in Armenia when they were offered to be in the government, and probably the February tragedy that they prefer to call "Pedervaryan abesdamputyun- or heghapokhutyun" could have been avoided. That approach has led the ARF leadership  to be exposed to numerous mistakes.

      And this recent resignation is not going to convince many non-member sympathisers that ARF had to wait this long.


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