Thursday, 3 July 2008

Armenian authorities: defeat after defeat on the foreign policy front

With illusive 'victories' (= self-deception) on domestic front, Armenian authorities suffer defeat after defeat on the foreign policy front.

Are we witnessing a complete failure of Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs? Do we still have one? Or is this a failure of authorities who lack trust and support of their people?

Russia, Armenia's strategic ally

Only few days after Armenia's incumbent president Serj Sargsyan visit to Moscow and meeting with his Russian counterpart Medvedev...

Guardian (3 July 2008): Medvedev used his meeting with Aliyev to make an unusually explicit statement of support for Azerbaijan in its dispute with its neighbour, Armenia, over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. [...] "The two sides underlined the importance of a speedy resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of respect for ... sovereignty, territorial integrity and the inviolability of a state's borders," said a joint statement after the talks. Commenting after the talks on that statement, Aliyev said: "We are grateful to Russia for this position."


PanARMENIAN.Net (3 July 2008): During its latest session in Astana, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) adopted Turkey’s motion which says that past events like genocide should be recognized only after historians carried out a detailed research in all kinds of archives, independent French journalist Jean Eckian told PanARMENIAN.Net. “Adoption of the Turkish thesis by the OSCE is a significant achievement against the Armenian allegations. Also, the Turkish thesis regarding the events of 1915 was adopted for the first time on an international platform. Armenia was the only among 56 OSCE member states to vote against the motion," said Alaattin Buyukkaya, head of the Turkish delegation to the OSCE PA."The motion says that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly encourages formation of joint commission of historians and experts from the third countries in case of a research into political and military archives to scientifically and impartially enlighten a disputed period in history in an effort to serve transparency and common understanding among the member states," Buyukkaya added.

No surprises, especially after Armenia's incumbent president Serj Sargsyan's infamous remarks in Moscow (23 June 2008, via "The second issue I would like to speak about refers to Armenian-Turkish relations. Our position on the matter is distinct: there should be no closed borders between neighbor countries in the 21st century. Regional cooperation can be the best means for establishing stability. The Turkish side suggests forming a commission that would study the historic facts. We do not mind establishing that commission, but only when the border between our countries is opened. Otherwise, it can become a means of protracting the solution of the issue for many years. In the future I intend to undertake new steps to further the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. Most probably, I will invite Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul to Yerevan to watch the match between the national football teams of Armenia and Turkey."


While Armenian authorities were celebrating a 'victory' having avoided PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) sanctions till at least January 2009...

RFE/RL (25 June 2008): The resolution adopted on Tuesday [Unzipped - 24 June 2008] expressed serious concern at the “deteriorating” human rights situation in Azerbaijan and spelled out a “road-map” of urgent measures which the PACE believes should be taken ahead of the forthcoming Azerbaijani presidential election. The resolution linked the problem with the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, saying that “sustainable democratic development will be extremely difficult in Azerbaijan as long as the country’s territorial integrity has not been restored.” The PACE also said it “takes note” of a recent UN General Assembly resolution that upheld Azerbaijani sovereignty over Karabakh and demanded an unconditional and immediate liberation of Armenian-occupied Azerbaijani territories. Armenian members of the PACE strongly opposed these provisions and tried unsuccessfully to remove them from the text.


Haik said...

New slogan



Ani said...

The Kremlin has now had a thorough chance to assess SS and has found him lacking any moral, political, or social authority, an assessment shared by the EU and the U.S. Wow, something everybody agrees on! And since they have discerned that Armenia is now snugly in Russia’s pocket, it can be safely ignored in favor of issues that Russia finds much more important than little Artsakh. Really, why should Russia care about NKR anyway? It can easily give it up to earn points on the game board that it can then spend on Abkhazia, which is what interests Russia much more now. And getting Azerbaijan back into its orbit makes the whole thing sweeter.

Regarding the genocide study issue, while I’m always in favor of historical research (the more the better!), the question to be asked is: Why does Turkey want this so badly right now? Of course the answer is that genocide recognition is gaining traction, and after eight endless years of the Bush administration, the possibility at last looms that the United States will finally put through the motion in congress as well as appoint an ambassador who can say the word, since Obama clearly and without reservation came out in favor of recognition (McCain—has he heard of Armenia?) But a “historical commission” can drag its feet for many years (have we figured out whether there’s global warming yet?) and once again put genocide recognition on the back burner. “Mr. Chess” should have understood this point, but he is so eager to be agreeable and for someone, anyone to like him, that he gave the game away. And considering the speed and acuity with which the March 1 commission is being formed, rounding up scholars for a genocide study commission may take years.

By the way, you left out another more subtle embarrassment—Joseph Pennington giving history lessons to SS on the American Revolution. Actually, it wasn’t all THAT subtle, though it probably flew over the top of Sargsyan’s head.

nazarian said...

Does anyone have the text of the PACE document re-affirming the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan?

As far as I know, David Harutyunian called it 'a defeat for PACE' when asked if it was a defeat for Armenia.

artmika said...

Here and here, Nazarian.

And below is a relevant extract:

25. As regards Azerbaijan’s commitment to the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict:

25.1. the Assembly considers that sustainable democratic development will be extremely difficult in Azerbaijan as long as the country’s territorial integrity has not been restored;

25.2. the Assembly takes note of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution “on the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan”, adopted on 14 March 2008, which expresses serious concern that the armed conflict in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan continues to endanger international peace and security, reaffirms Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, expresses support for its internationally recognised borders and demands the immediate withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories; [...]

Ani said...

Russia's position even more baldly stated here:

....Mr Medvedev offered a significant olive leaf to Ilham Aliyev, the Azeri president, when he hinted that Russia could support Azerbaijan in its row with Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh for the first time.

Armenia has occupied the region, which lies in Azerbaijan but had a mainly Armenian population, since the two countries fought a brutal war in the early 1990s.

In exchange, Mr Aliyev said that he was considering a Russian request to buy all output from the vast Shah Deniz gas field, where production is expected to start in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Serj and his rejime put all the resources on keeping their power forgetting about Armenia and Artsakh. Theya re sleepwalking.
I am afraid if this continues another 3 months the existence of the 3rd Republic will be under huge question.
There is an upcoming war in Iran, and Russia is interested in fully controlling Armenia before that hence the reason behind using Serj in such manner. Russians are also interested in "stabilising" the rejion as they find it suitable so there wont be much problems during possible war.

me said...

A smart man once said, time will show who did what for Arcax and who in reality is selling it out. Well it's taken us 10 years, but I think most of us have seen the light. I just hope it's not too late.

Anonymous said...

more dyplomatic defeats in 5 months
than there were in 15 years

as you can see now Oskanian was a genius

Haik said...

Oskainian was not a genius. Maybe he was a genius in lies department and in his 'complimentary' spineless policies. What we are seeing today is the continuation of Osaknian's policies. There is a good Armenian saying for such situations,- "Sti vot@ karch e". He was genius in leaving the ship at the right time.
The problem here as I can see is the non-existence of the MFA Armenia. Most of the good diplomats were either dismissed/left after Kocharian came to power and the last group were sacked after they expressed their opinion on the falsified elections.
As for the Russian policies it is of course on their interest , they want a more loyal S Caucasus before the war on Iran and the presidential election in Azerbaijan.
they don’t care much of the destiny of Artsakh or Armenia or Azerbaijan. They look at it as a area covering Russia's southern boarders. this boarders should be kept intact no matter who wins the Iran war. Iran has also huge interests in Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is not a secret that they consider those two countries as part of the Iranian/Persian empire.
Will we lose our independence because Serjik likes playing Roulette and Black Jack?

Anonymous said...

Perfect example of consequences of divide and conquer.

Armenia's oppositional powers have been lured into the dead-end trap of following discredited LTP, leaving fewer voices to push for national interests. Armenia's governmental efforts turn inward, as a tug of war from the internal power struggle ends up with no outward momentum.

Net effect: Armenia presents less of a front against all those who wish to see Karabakh taken away. Government can blame opposition for accelerating the loss; opposition can blame the government for the great giveaway.

Planned by LTP? who knows. Does it matter? Net local effect is nothing changes (except a few unlucky people get killed on March 1). Net international effect: Armenia is weaker, Karabakh in more jeopardy. Great job guys!!

Ani said...

Anonymous, guess you deserve a creativity award for trying to pin these failures on the opposition, however that big grin on the face of Sargsyan as he was shaking Medevev's and Aliyev's hands really tells us everything we need to know, and perhaps more than we'd like to as well.

By the way, you made a typo in your post. When you said "Planned by LTP?" I'm assuming you meant to write "Planned by Kocharian?"

Anonymous said...

Sorry Ani - I don't conduct political analysis by measuring grins.

And, while Kocharian's interests are more complex, I think it is not hard to surmise that Levon would do anything to undermine the current administration. Weakening Armenia's hand at the bargaining table is not even close to the limits there, unfortunately.

Ani said...

Perhaps you should start--your tea leaves aren't working very well. It's just plain silly to say that LTP has any influence on the Russians right now, while SS has been to Moscow twice, and these severe setbacks and failures have come almost immediately after his meetings with Medevev, Aliyev and Gül.

antifa said...

Anonymous so what you are saying is that what Serj is doing is that what Levon tells him to do?

the only thing that weakens Serj and before that Kocharian is their illegitimacy. And that’s something that they brought to themselves and became a burden on Armenian people.

If you find a single person who sincerely believes that the elections in Armenia were fare please let us know the name.

Anonymous said...

I know it is not popular on this pro-Levon blog, but if the argument is about legitimacy, it is not a very good one. As much as elections were affected by the authorities, 2 points stand out for me.

1) SS got more votes than anyone else, and if it went to a second round, it is very likely that the eventual deals cut with secondary parties would have put him way in majority ahead of Levon or Artur B or whoever.

2) The elections were seen as being at least as good as any in the past 17 years. Of anyone on earth, Levon shouldn't be bringing up issues of legitimacy. Sounds more like a saturday night live skit than a serious argument.

Ani said...

Anonymous, imagine with me if you will what Armenia would be like if the elections had been held cleanly, if all the candidates had been able to explain their positions on public television, if there had been debates held, if the polling had taken place without people being bribed, beaten, kidnapped, or threatened. If all this had taken place, you and I and all of us know that there would have definitely been a runoff, that no one had a majority of the votes. Who knows what the alliances would have been (was Baghdasarian truly threatened with assassination? G-d knows but not me.)

But for your argument’s sake, if then after all that Serzh Sargsyan had won the most votes, he would have had a mandate from the Armenians, he wouldn’t be having the shadow of illegitimacy haunt him and taunt him, and like Lady Macbeth walk around with blood on his hands that he can’t get off. If he actually has any good intentions in his presidency, he could have quickly shaken off Kocharian’s cronies, because he wouldn’t owe Kocharian anything. He could have gone to all these international events with real confidence. But instead, the whole world knows that he is a grasping Gollum only interested in his own power, who will trade everything else to keep it, even those things that concern Armenians the most; therefore the international community will use that knowledge to advance its own interests, not Armenia’s.

As for LTP’s intentions, why assume that he only wants money and power? Didn’t he spend the last several years of his life in the research libraries writing a historical treatise? Perhaps he was also reflecting on his own place in history, and wants to make himself right with Armenia and (just maybe) with God? Recently I saw again the musical “The Music Man” about a huckster traveling salesman pushing the “think system” as a way to learn music. When caught, the town realizes that he has brought them a joy that they had lacked before he came, and perhaps what he was selling wasn’t actually an empty promise but something within themselves that his key unlocked. Please look at the joy on the faces of the crowds at the opposition rallies—do you ever see this joy at a government event?

Gosh Artmika, this is too long—sorry, I’ll shut up now!!

Anonymous said...

Ani - I don't measure joy at rallies as some measure of political success. I think and hope that there will be some improvements in society as the majority of people DO wish to see reforms.

And other than those who see power-change as the only means to achieve that end, I guess, keep demonstrating.

I like the hypothetical "if we had a free election" etc etc too. But it is not realistic, and it wouldn't change much.

I prefer to work on things that I can affect, like a cleaner neighborhood, a better work environment, not giving or taking bribes, etc.

More realistic, more effective.

Anonymous said...

You guys......
We have diplomatic defeats when they wnat us to have them and we record victories when they want us to. It's not about SS or LTP or anyone else. If anything SS is clearly continuing LTP's Turkish policy, only a bit more clearly and with better leadership.
Resolutions,resolutions.........Territorial integrity..........Have you seen the price of petrol??? Azerbaijan is quite a mportnat country now kids and if Gazproms' Alexey Millers' predictions come true the price of crude oil will jump to $250 and then,believe me, there will be more anti-Armenian resolutions. At the end of the day,though, talk is cheap, resolutions mean nothing, PACE and OSCE have no true power.
Russia is trying to persuade Azeris to give up on Nabucco pipeline and to join the Southern Stream and has to make political concessions like this and there is nothing LTP could have done.
Make your little brains work a bit more and read some stuff before you decide to express your genius on blogs.

Garen said...

This is a very thoughtful overview of Armenia's current standing on international arena.

There were numerous warnings from political analysts that if these presidential elections would not be free and fair than the sovereignty of Armenian stathood as well as it's international standing would be drastically undermined.

I hope Serzhik has some kind of plan B.

(or maybe, who knows... maybe this was RobertoSerzhakan Plan A all along)