YEREVAN—Indeed, the Republic of Armenia should have its lost territories returned and the victims of the Armenian Genocide should receive material compensation. But all these claims must have perfect legal grounds, said Armenian Prosecutor General Aghvan Hovsepyan at a conference of lawyers ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, initiated by the Ministry of the Diaspora.
International insurance agencies decided in 2007 to pay the heirs of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, but payments have recently stopped. According to the prosecutor general, the reason is pressure from Turkey. Aghvan Hovsepyan said that if Armenia possessed undeniable legal arguments, this process would have a logical outcome. According to him, this issue is up to the Armenian lawyers to solve.
“It has been a century since Armenian-Turkish relations froze, Aghvan Hovsepyan says. Though many countries recognized and condemned the Armenian Genocide, we have no significant results. I’m sure we will be at the same point in another century. Turkey’s policy of denial and geopolitical circumstances are not the only reason. I strongly believe that our position on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and on Armenian-Turkish relations is also a reason,” said Hovsepyan.
He added that the recognition of the genocide is only one element of the Armenian cause. The settlement of Armenian-Turkish relations is of a legal character and it should be reached on the grounds of international rights. This, according to the prosecutor general, means that all international pacts related to the Armenian people and their territories should be examined.
“Otherwise we will have what we have now,” said Aghvan Hovsepyan.
Hovsepyan thinks it is wrong to not answer the Azeri balderdash that Syunik, Yerevan and Artsakh are Azeri territories.
“Wouldn’t it be more effective if we gave legally grounded answers to Azeris. For instance, in accordance with the Moscow pact of 1921, Nakhichevan was separated from Armenia and as an autonomous region was given to Azerbaijani patronage. Disregarding the legality of the Moscow pact, I should note that in 1923, Azerbaijan’s Central Committee revised the previous decision and included Nakhichevan in its composition. This decision was such an evident violation of international rights that even Turkey issued a protest note against it. Can we affirm Nakhichevan is an inseparable part of Armenia and that Azerbaijan occupied it? Of course we can, but somehow we are silent,” said Aghvan Hovsepyan.
Dwelling on international agreements relating to Armenia, the prosecutor general said that the Armenian-Turkish border is not regulated. “We have territorial disputes with both Azerbaijan and Turkey”. According to the prosecutor general, in order to solve these issues, it is necessary to work out a large package of claims with relevant legal grounds and introduce it before the authorities of Armenia with the view of submitting it to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations.
“I’m sure if Azerbaijan had at least one-one hundredth of our legal ground, it would have long applied not only to the International Court of Justice, but to all possible avenues”, said the prosecutor general, asking to not forget that time is working against us.