miercuri, 18 martie 2009

Boghos Mardirossian: Hay Tad is the security problem, which the Armenian civilization had since its formation

On Friday, 06 March 2009 the Hay Tad Committee in Kuwait organized its first public event in Salmiya, Kuwait. Boghos Mardirossian delivered a lecture - presentation on the political situation in the Caucasus and its implications on Armenia.

In the first part of the lecture, Mardirossian made a brief introduction about the geographical location of the Caucasus and the different ethnicities residing there. He pointed out that many languages are spoken there. Caucasus is not mono- ethnic or single religion place. In The northern Caucasus, which is the southern part of Russian Federation there are many ethnic groups and mainly five autonomous republics within the Russian Federation.

In the past, the Caucasus struggle was between three Empires: Persian, Russian and Ottoman, but in the present time after, the collapse of the Soviet Union new players came into the Caucasus such as USA, EU and NATO. The presence of the new players in this region gave to it a specific international political and economical importance.

According to Mardirossian, NATO is directly involved in the Caucasus affairs through its new candidate Georgia, which has closed its Russian military bases and is eager now to join NATO, a move that will ensure to keep Western presence in the region.

The presence of foreign major forces in the region creates possibility of direct clash with Russian and Iranian forces. This new political situation in the Caucasus has attracted many political analysts.

The Caucasus is in no short of political, economical, ethnical and religious problems. According to Mardirossian, it is a highly volatile region and ready to explode at any time. This instable region has already experienced many wars and the major has to come yet.

Due to its extremely important geo-strategic location between three major powers, namely Russia, Iran and Turkey and because of its rich energy resources and strategic location as major energy transport route, the risk of war has always been high in the region.

The second part of Mardirossian’s lecture was about the importance of the Caucasus region in international politics and economics. He mentioned two main reasons in this context. The first is economic, which is the hidden force behind the political wars in the region. We all know that the Caspian Sea is rich in oil energy and gas resources. Azerbaijan has significant wealth in this regard. The southern Caucasian region is located on the new energy routes.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Western World wanted to establish alternative energy routes, ignoring Russian and Iranian territories. The West needs the Caspian Sea energy recourses, but does not want Russia or Iran to control the energy pipeline routes. The Baku-Jehan pipeline route is a clear example of Western intentions. The West has its allies in the region such as Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. These three countries are accomplishing the Western interests in the region. This appears in conflict with the Russian, Iranian and Armenian interests.

NABUCO is an upcoming energy project for transferring the Caspian gas to Europe, ignoring Russian territories. Russia is not happy for that and is not willing to lose its economic interests in the region, commented Mardirossian.
The Russian politics is effectively fighting any Western presence in the Caucasus. For Russia, Armenia is a geo-strategic castle in the Caucasus frontline. Mardirossian resembled Armenia as the king in chess game. If it falls the whole game is over. Especially for the West, Armenia is the main strategic country, which is needed to take under control in order to reduce the power and influence of the two temporary allies Russia and Iran in the region. Russia and Iran, old time enemies are now cooperating militarily to face a united threat: the NATO.

Mardirossian gave an account about the strategic importance associated with each country in the Caucasus and the three wars fought in the region since 1988: Nagorno Karabagh, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. These wars were the result of the above-mentioned geo-strategic and economic reasons but local ethnic reasons were widely utilized. These three wars publicly are known as wars of self-determination, but in reality they had economic and geo-strategic reasons.
After analyzing the importance of the Caucasus, Mardirossian went into the fourth and last part of his lecture, in which he discussed national security issues facing Armenia as a country in the middle of a major power struggle in the region. This was the most interesting part of the lecture.

Mardirossian first defined the meaning of Armenia’s national security. The economic security and the security of Diaspora Armenians were important elements that form the final picture of the entire Armenian national security structure. Armenia’s economic security is in danger since Armenia has been deprived from major regional economic energy routes, railroad and other projects. Armenia does not have rich natural resources or access to sea. Georgia can be a possible access to the sea, but the Georgian authorities are practicing anti-Armenians policies in the Javakhk region, where Armenians live. The ongoing unstable situation in and around Georgia has affected Armenia’s economic security. Armenia, as natural ally to Russia, makes Georgia unhappy. The Russian military bases in Armenia keep Georgia’s security in danger. Iran becomes thus the only remaining natural geographic route that secures Armenia’s interests. What could happen to Armenia’s security and economy if the West decides to attack Iran?

Approaching Turkey with good neighborhood relations may open the borders for direct trade, but can we believe that this will not cause certain national security problem in Armenia?, Commented Mardirossian, adding that Turkey has occupied 80% of the historic Armenian lands and is openly siding with Azerbaijan as advocate of the “two countries but one people” slogan. Both Turkey and Azerbaijan do not like to see strong and stable Armenia. The pan-Turkic dream is still live in their political strategic thought. Azerbaijan’s politically motivated historians even consider the capital of Armenia (Yerevan) and the southern part of Armenia (Zankezour) as part of old Azerbaijan! We should be aware what this implies, said Mardirossian. This means even a smaller Armenia than the 29 thousands square kilometers left to us from the historical 400 thousands square kilometers.

Azerbaijan is preparing itself militarily to attack Armenia at any moment in the future and its aggressive intentions are not hidden. President of Azerbaijan said many times that Azerbaijani army is ready to act. We all know that Artsakh (Karabagh) is our historic land and even the additional liberated territories are part of historic Armenia and form altogether in the Caucasus, with the present-day Armenia, a 42 thousands square kilometers of de facto Armenian controlled area, necessary to Armenia’s economic security.

Artsakh has an economic value to Armenia. It has major strategic security importance to Armenia and to all the Armenian civilization. We have lost many territories in the past and cannot afford to loose more.

Mardirossian talked also about the security of Diaspora Armenians and underlined its importance for Armenia, since Diaspora Armenians represent 70% of the entire Armenia population in the world. Diaspora Armenians are essential part of the Armenian civilization. Therefore, keeping Diaspora Armenian relations strong with the present-day Armenia is a national security task. Our enemies do not want Diaspora Armenians to come back and repopulate Armenia, because that will create demographic threat to them and additional strength to Armenia. Having economically weak Armenia will not let Diaspora Armenians to return back to Armenia. Weak Armenia will not attract Diaspora Armenians to come back and resettle there. War threats by Azerbaijan keeps Diaspora away from Artsakh and Armenia. Let us remember the Israeli example. Russian, Ethiopian and Yemeni Jewish migration increased to Israel after they learned about the possibility of better economic life in Israel, but when the Palestinian rockets threatened their security, they began to leave Israel to USA, Canada and Australia. Our enemies do not want to see Diaspora Armenian near the borders. The more Armenians emigrate to the West the more happy they would be.

The most important security problem could come to Armenia from its ally Russia. Let us assume that Russia loses its military influence in Caucasus. A possible new pro-West Russian government may come to power in Russia and create strong relations with the West and with their allies in the Caucasus: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. What will happen if Russia itself finally joins NATO? What kind of future will await Armenia in front of its aggressive historic enemies? What if the circumstantial relations between Russia and Iran are loosened? This will affect Armenia in the middle of the two old allies. The stability of present-day Iran and Russia is in the interests of Armenia, but if unstable elements come to power in these countries, this could affect Armenia’s national security. Let us assume that Israel tries to hit the Iranian nuclear capabilities and the later declares war on Israel. What can happen if Israel starts supporting the local Iranian-Azeri population and encourage them to separate from Iran and join the independent Azerbaijan in the north. In that case, how will Armenia survive if it is geographically blocked on three sides.

If USA-Iran war occurs then Armenia will be affected and will receive pressure from Iran, Russia and USA. Armenia’s national security now depends on Iran’s territorial integrity. If Azeris gain power in Iran, this will threaten both Iran’s and Armenia’s national security. Iran will be blocked on three sides by USA or NATO forces (in Iraq, GCC countries and Afghanistan) and will remain free only on Armenia’s side. If Armenia falls in the hand of pro-American forces, through internal elections for example, like the orange revolution in some ex-Soviet republics, then this will be a major concern for Iran and Russia. Russian influence is strong in Armenia and any surprise fall of pro-Russian government in Armenia will create almost civil war situation in Armenia.

At the end of the presentation, Mardirossian reminded the attendants that Armenia throughout its history has been always threatened by its neighbors. There are hardly times when the Armenian civilization was not in danger from these outsiders. Our civilization needs stable, strong, progressive and secure lands to prosper.

Mardirossian emphasized the importance of Hay Tad and said that Hay Tad is our everyday life and is the Armenian civilization security issue. Hay Tad is not April 24 only. Our ancestors had Hay Tad since the formation of our people on our historic lands and still we in Diaspora continue to have Hay Tad, which does not mean only working for passing on Armenian genocide resolutions in the world. Hay Tad is the security problem, which the Armenian civilization had since its formation. If this small Armenia goes from our hands, then our civilization will survive only in history textbooks, warned Mardirossian.

( http://www.azad-hye.net/news/viewnews.asp?newsId=621lgf41 )

Germany renews opposition to Turkey's joining the EU

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will continue to oppose Turkish membership in the European Union as part of its platform for upcoming European elections, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Sunday.

Croatia should be admitted to the EU, the draft platform says, but no other countries should be allowed to join for an unspecified period so the bloc can consolidate its institutions and identity. The document says that the EU has been strained by absorbing 11 countries, including the former Communist states of Eastern Europe, in two rounds of expansion in 2004 and 2007.

Turkey has long been in membership talks with the European Union, however issues surrounding freedom of religion and freedom of speech have slowed progress on those negotiations to a virtual standstill in recent years.

“We therefore consider a privileged partnership between the European Union and Turkey to be the right solution,” reads the document obtained by the FAZ.

The document also calls for Germany’s member of the European Commission, the executive body that runs the EU, should be a member of the conservative Christian Democrats. The current member, Günter Verheugen, belongs to the centre-left Social Democrats. Media reports last month said that Chancellor Merkel was reportedly considering Roland Koch, the conservative premier of Hesse, as a possible pick for the European Commission job.

The party platform, which is due to be approved by the CDU leadership on March 16, applies to the European parliamentary elections scheduled for June 7.

(Published: 8 Mar 09 11:57 CET)

( http://www.thelocal.de/politics/20090308-17877.html )

Azerbaijan blackmails Turkey over Armenian-Turkish border opening

Turkey should think a lot before opening the border with Armenia, an Azeri expert said.

“Azerbaijan is Turkey’s fraternal state and strategic ally. Opening the border with Armenia, Turkey will lose Azerbaijan. It means that Turkey will lose the outlet to Central Asia and Caucasus,” Arif Keskin said.

If Turkey opens the border, Azerbaijan will re-direct its energy policy, according to him.

“The Turkish route will lose significance for Azerbaijan, which will direct its energy flows through Georgia to Ukraine. Moreover, Azerbaijan will establish closer ties with Georgia to push Turkish business out of the country. The risk is great,” he said.

“Turkey’s normalization of relations with Armenia should run parallel to resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Otherwise, Ankara will lose its influence on the Turkic world,” Keskin said, 1news.az reports.

( http://panarmenian.net/news/eng/?nid=29576 )

"an Azeri expert said" - Azeri expert on what? on lying? on deceiving? on blackmail? on sucking up? on good brotherly relations? oh wait..that's not something out of the ordinary, it is just a classic example of use of resources Azeri-style, a classic example of desperacy... not that i blame the poor man.
When the roof seems to crumble on you, when the skies seem to fall on you...what would you do? God forbid you step on your fake, baseless, bellicose pride! No, no way! What do you do..?you start turning around, spitting venom at everybody, betraying even your own 'brothers' and 'comrades'...way to go! the world will surely learn alot from you....

marți, 17 martie 2009


World turned upside down...and inside out!

Two shocking announcements made by Yerevan officials recently have deeply troubled Armenians worldwide.
The first statement was made by Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian in Tsakhkadzor, Armenia, on Febr. 21 during an international economic forum (”Outlook for International Economic Cooperation: Problems and Solutions”) The conference was attended by high-ranking officials and businessmen from Russia, Bulgaria, Iran, and many other countries.

In his speech titled “International Economic Cooperation: New Policy,” Sarkisian invited the participation of Russia and Turkey in the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Armenia. He said that the multi-billion dollar project had not only economic but also political significance. The existing power plant, located near Yerevan, was commissioned in 1976. Several international organizations as well as neighboring Turkey have been pressing for the closure of the Medzamor power plant for several years, citing safety concerns. The new power plant is expected to be operational in 2016.

Turkish leaders have not yet responded to Sarkisian’s invitation. However, according to Russian sources, Ankara is said to be interested. An unidentified Turkish spokesman was quoted by Nezavisimaya Gazeta as stating: “The government of Turkey is anticipating an official appeal on participation in the atomic power plant from Armenian official circles. Only after that, the Turkish side may consider the prospect of participating in the project and announce its decision. If all the issues involved are complied with, Yerevan’s proposal may be accepted.”

Several Armenian analysts have raised serious concerns about involving Turkey in such a sensitive project. Some pointed out the risk to Armenia’s national security, given the two countries’ historical enmity. Other commentators brought up the total lack of experience of Turkish companies in constructing nuclear power plants. Ara Nranyan, a Parliamentary member representing the ARF (a junior member of the governing coalition), stated that his party opposes Turkey’s participation in the new nuclear power plant and views it as “damaging to Armenia’s interests.”

How can Armenian officials offer a role in constructing a nuclear power plant to a country that denies the genocide, refuses to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia, sets up a blockade to destroy its economy, and provides political and military support to Azerbaijan in the Artsakh (Karabagh) conflict?

The second disturbing development is an invitation by Armenian officials to Turkey’s foreign minister to attend the Black Sea Economic Conference (BSEC) on April 16-17, just days before the 94th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Armenia’s six-month rotating chairmanship of the BSEC ends on April 30.

Armenians were further irritated by a report in the Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman that said “Armenia has rescheduled a foreign ministerial meeting of Black Sea countries, apparently as a goodwill gesture to ensure Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will be among the participants.” Zaman reported that Armenian authorities had moved the date of the BSEC meeting “from the previously announced April 29 to April 16. The shift is significant because April 29 is only a few days after April 24.”

To add insult to injury, Zaman quoted unnamed Turkish officials as stating that Babacan has not confirmed his attendance, and that his participation depends on “Armenia’s commitment to the ongoing rapprochement process and the course of closed-door talks with Armenia.”

Turkish officials make frequent statements about “rapprochement” with Armenia in order to give the false impression that the two countries are reconciling with each other, thus hoping that the Obama Administration and the U.S. Congress does not take any action on the genocide.

While Ankara officials are constantly bombarding Washington with such fake messages, the Armenian side stays astonishingly silent, giving credence to Turkish misrepresentations that are intended to undermine the prospects of any U.S. declaration on the genocide.

In a rare display of responsiveness, Tigran Balayan, the acting spokesman of the Armenian Foreign Ministry, issued a statement denying that the BSEC was rescheduled to accommodate Turkish concerns. Balayan, however, provided no explanation as to why the conference was not held before the month of April.

It is hard to believe that the Armenian government would invite the Turkish foreign minister to Armenia just a week before April 24.

Babacan, a genocide denier and high-ranking official of a hostile country that is blockading Armenia, should never be welcomed in Yerevan, unless he intends to place a wreath at the Armenian Genocide Memorial Monument and offer an apology to the Armenian people!