Hungarian Rhapsody in Discord

Keghart.com Editorial Board, 3 September 2012

By now most Armenians know about the scandal of the Azeri murderer’s release by Hungary.  Because the story is still developing, new wrinkles should appear in the coming days and weeks. Meanwhile, there are a number of obvious and disturbing questions about the background of the international outrage.

In recent years the Azeri embassy in Hungary has been busy building bridges with Budapest authorities while spewing anti-Armenian hate propaganda. As well, Peter Szijjarto, Hungary’s minister of “East” affairs, has visited Baku to negotiate financial assistance from oil-rich Azerbaijan. While Baku was courting Hungarian authorities, Armenia has no diplomatic presence in the country. The closest Armenian mission was in Vienna. The embassy—with a skeleton staff—is in charge of representing Armenia in four countries in the region.

Keghart.com Editorial Board, 3 September 2012

By now most Armenians know about the scandal of the Azeri murderer’s release by Hungary.  Because the story is still developing, new wrinkles should appear in the coming days and weeks. Meanwhile, there are a number of obvious and disturbing questions about the background of the international outrage.

In recent years the Azeri embassy in Hungary has been busy building bridges with Budapest authorities while spewing anti-Armenian hate propaganda. As well, Peter Szijjarto, Hungary’s minister of “East” affairs, has visited Baku to negotiate financial assistance from oil-rich Azerbaijan. While Baku was courting Hungarian authorities, Armenia has no diplomatic presence in the country. The closest Armenian mission was in Vienna. The embassy—with a skeleton staff—is in charge of representing Armenia in four countries in the region.

Armenia’s absence in Budapest didn’t deter local Armenians, who were represented by an organization called Armenian National Self-government (ANSG), from diligently following the Azeri strategy.  Dr. Szevan Serkisian, chairman; deputy chairmen Alexan Avanesian and Nikogosz Akopjan of ANSG kept a close eye on the brutal murder of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan by Ramil Sahib Safarov and the trial of the Azeri slayer. They also followed Azeri diplomatic activities in Hungary. Over the years these dedicated and diligent Armenians frequently warned the authorities of Armenia about the sordid and secret activities of the Azeri diplomatic mission. In a letter addressed to RoA president S. Sargsyan on Sept. 2, 2012 ANSG clearly states that on August 20, eleven days prior to extradition,  Nikogosz Akopjan personally informed the RoA foreign ministry, ministry of the Diaspora and the Armenian embassy in Vienna about the impending news. All to no avail.

Last week Budapest handed Safarov to Baku, although the criminal had served only eight years of his 30-year sentence. Upon landing in Baku, the Azeri butcher was handed immediate pardon by President Ilham Aliyev. He was given a brand-new apartment, promoted to the rank of major, given his eight-year accumulated salary. The murderous coward was honored at public gatherings. A 24-karat Turkic hero. Safarov, obviously a man with room temperature I.Q., publicly thanked Turkey for lubricating his unlawful release. Of course, Baku’s 3-billion euro purchase of Hungarian state-bonds didn’t hurt the underhanded and scandalous deal.

Since the scandal broke, a number of Armenian sources have suggested Armenia should recognize Artsakh as an independent republic.  They have cited their reasons why it would be timely.

Such a decision could provide Baku with casus belli.

Suspicious minds might say Sarkissian had, for a long time, been preparing to recognize Artsakh and was cunningly waiting for the proper time. That’s why he ignored the pleas of ANSG leaders.

Even more suspicious minds might say Sarkissian—by recognizing Artsakh– was deliberately furnishing an excuse to Baku to declare war on Armenia and Artsakh.

The above speculation presupposes that Armenia believes it can beat Azerbaijan.

If Armenia believed it’s stronger than Azerbaijan and is indirectly inviting Baku to the battlefield, why is Armenia hosting Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) maneuvers in mid-September? And more importantly, if Sarkissian was goading Aliev to war, why would Armenia hold, in October, the biggest maneuvers since the country became independent? The maneuver is so important that it would include the participation of civilian males who are over the age of 50. Another reason Sarkissian might not be planning war: there are local elections in Armenia this month.

Suspicious minds would probably say it’s misdirection by Armenia: Yerevan wants Azerbaijan to think Yerevan would be busy with maneuvers in the next few months.

Time will tell.  Meanwhile, shame on Hungarian authorities. Their explanation that Azeris had promised to jail their axe murder doesn’t wash. Anyone who follows Azerbaijan politics knows that Safarov became an Azeri hero when he slew the sleeping Armenian officer. Wasn’t the Hungarian ambassador in Baku aware of Safarov’s heroic status among his murderer-idolizing racist people? Hungary might have decided to pretend naiveté for a cool 3 billion. Hungary’s economy is in doldrums under Prime Minister Victor Orban. Budapest is begging the IMF for further loans.

But what price Hungarian honor? Many Hungarians, including the main opposition party, have criticized their government. Hungarian authorities are caught in a vise: if they accuse Baku of misleading them, Baku might decide not to buy Hungarian state-bonds. Hungary would lose the Azeri investment and wind up with large egg on its face—without the 3-billion, without honor. Orban’s government might not survive.

 

 

 

 

9 comments
  1. God bless Dr. Sevan Sargsyan

    God bless Dr. Sevan Sargsyan, chairman, deputy chairmen Alex Avanesyan and Hikagos Hakobyan of ANSG.

    Best regards.
    Nigohos Beranian

  2. Casus Belli and concessions

    Dear Dr. Abrahamian,

    Before WWII most western statesmen had sufficient warning that Hitler was a threat to peace, but they failed to rally their people and take a stand, until it was too late.

    They hoped that by making concessions to Hitler war would be avoided.

    Anybody familiar with Turkish culture will verify that there is similarity between Hitler and Aliyev: continuously breaking cease fire, demanding Zanghezur, threatening to shoot airplanes, demanding Iranian Azerbaijan, and so on.

    Don't expect this bully to stop, [he will] start his attack….

  3. Remind Readers,

    Please remind your readers Hungarian diplomats and public that three generals of Armenian descent fought for Hungary to gain its independence, and two were executed.

  4. Aliev’s War

    If there's war between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Aliev would lose his source of petrodollars. He is using petrodollars to lead the only possible 'war' for him: buy gold medals at Olympic Games; provide adulation for delinquent Safarov's  liberation by a fanatical Azeri public. What else?

  5. Armenians in Hungary
    Thank you for your editorial. It's comprehensive and to the point.

    I believe we should honor the leaders of the Armenian community in Hungary who voluntarily have been acting as the eyes and ears of the Armenian nation in that country.

    I would also like to see a Republic of Armenia investigation as to why the many reports of our "eyes and ears in Hungary" were ignored by Armenia's embassy in Vienna, the foreign ministry and the Diaspora ministry.  When the scandal erupted, in high dudgeon Serge Sarkissian called all foreign diplomats to his office and expressed his disgust with the Azeri and Hungarian governments. I hope he will be similarly forceful when he looks into the inaction of his bureaucrats. Were our Vienna diplomats waltzing along the blue Danube and downing Grinzing wine when Hungarian Armenians warned them about the anti-Armenian activities of the Azeri diplomats in Budapest?

  6. This is the Chance

    This is the chance the Son's of Sassoon have been waiting for… next stop Baku. Respect comes from power; we have it and the time to flex it. You miss this chance and your turn into a wrinkled frog.

  7. Crime and Punishment:

    The crime was committed within the NATO circle. The criminal, therefore, was the prisoner of NATO. NATO stands responsible for this dishonest repatriation of the criminal.

    Our punishment to the Azeri-Turks will be pitiless, on the ground. I repeat my June 5, 2012 conviction in Keghart.com : "Peace may come only after war" to the question: "Should Armenia attack Azerbaijan before Baku gets stronger?"

    1. Dangerous Post  

      Vahan Vanagan´s post is dangerous. A pre-emptive strike would open the door to international chameleon Turkey to affirm what Turco-Azeris have been uttering: "Armenians are the agressors." We should restrain ourselves from such a hasty move.

      Some have said that Safarov should be sent to Hungary. Vahan, do you think Baku would do that? After all, the Azeris have declared him a hero. Besides, they have their big brother's support. No one has commented how big brother Turkey has kept silent. May I ask what that means? In this instance, silence means approval.

      Armenians should  be  very careful at this stage of the Safarov scandal. We know that Turkey´s recent maneuvres have been in vain. It could not enter EU. It could not convince Arab states and Iran to go under its umbrella.

      Turkey's diplomacy has exhausted itself. All they will do from now on is to occupy themselves with the ERMENI and KURDISH issues. Thence utmost care by RoA is needed. The recent conference, where Serge Sarkissian addressed foreign diplomats in Yerevan, was a good move. Next, RoA should persuade these diplomats that Artsakh should be confirmed as an independent state; that they condemn Azerbaijan´s pardoning of a monstrous criminal and warn that if  Baku continues said stance (also the sniping  on the borders with RoA) you ought to side with RoA, if the latter retaliates a bit harder.

      You see, Vahan, things  move in this fashion. Pre-emptive strikes or a blitzkrieg are not appropriate in these days of peaceful coexistence, at least  on paper.
       

  8. I Agree

    I agree with the overall premise of the editorial but did not agree that if Armenia believed it would defeat Armenia then it would not hold military drills. War games are a standard occurrence around the world. Countries hold them to better assess their armed forces and see where they need to improve. One of the reasons the little sultan of Baku has not attacked Armenia/Artsakh is that he does not think he'd win a quick war which is the only scenario where Azerbaijan could conceivably be allowed to keep its 'winnings'.

    I strongly agree that Sarkissian must look into how much the diplomats at the Armenian embassy in Vienna knew, what steps the Armenian foreign ministry and the FM could have taken. However, what this opportunity presents to the Armenian nation must not be lost due to internal blame games. It is a time to be proactive while world public opinion is behind us. We have to push for more favorable terms at the negotiating table.

Comments are closed.

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