Turkish Armenian Reconciliation: Is it a priority?

BY Harout Bronozian

Since Armenia’s independence–our decision-makers in Armenia and diaspora have followed a path that has resulted into divisions–emigration from Armenia–corruption and very high unemployment–weakening greatly our homeland and our determination for a bright future.

The main reason–I believe–is because our objectives and priorities were not defined and did not meet the needs of Armenia and diaspora.

The independence of Armenia’should have united our nation–resulting into the return of part of diaspora Armenia’s (especially the young–educated and financially strong) to Armenia and build together a strong Armenia. Our three diaspora political parties–the Armenian Assembly–the AGBU–the leadership in Armenia and the Armenian Church should have invested their time and money to achieve that objective. For seventy years diaspora organizations have advocated a free and independent Armenia. They got it and what did they actually do? Instead of organizing immigration to Armenia–encouraging investment and being part of everyday life there–they fell into the trap of all kinds of divisions–deviating from the main objective that they should have had. A nation without well-defined objectives–priorities–strategies and dedicated work cannot survive.

This happened because a number of our leaders–including the clergy–became servants of other organizations–and hence do not serve the interests and objectives of the Armenian people. In one word we are not the masters of our destiny. So what independence are we talking about?

The Armenian Spirit is Broken Today the spirit of Armenia is broken. More than 1.5 million Armenia’s have left Armenia in the past 10 years–about 80 percent to Russia and 20 percent to Europe and the USA. And we–in the diaspora–we are playing games–unaware of the seriousness of the situation–where the mere existence of our homeland is in question. We are doing very little–if any–for the actual economic and industrial development of our homeland.

Without well- defined objectives we cannot have well defined strategies or actions taken. The question is do Armenia’s have objectives that are clearly stated? Are these objectives put in an appropriate order?

In the case of Turkish-Armenian reconciliation efforts–where does it rank in the list of priorities that the Armenian leadership should have tackled? Have Armenia’s first of all reconciled among themselves? Have they agreed among themselves as to what their objectives–strategies and work should be for Armenia and the diaspora for the next 5–10 or 20 years–before they embark into a relationship outside our nation? Have the people’s voice been taken into account or only a small "elite" has been controlling our future undemocratically? Is it easier to reconcile with the Turks than with Armenia’s? Isn’t it true that the objective of Turkey has been and still is until today the destruction of Armenia? How can one reconcile with Turkey under those conditions? What is the agenda of this Commission? Is Turkey going to support Armenia for the return of 1.5 million emigran’s? Is it going to invest in Armenia and create jobs?

The Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission was formed with the backing of the United States to strengthen its influence in the Caucasus against the Russia’s.

If the US is so much interested in the welfare of Armenia and Armenia’s–why doesn’t it back an Armenian-Armenian reconciliation? The four Armenian members of this Commission have served–and serve today–US foreign policy interests. They have failed in the past to meet the above-mentioned national interests of the Armenian people. Hence their participation is to be considered as illegitimate and counterproductive by the Armenian people worldwide. What a shame!

Needed: A United Body and Reconciliation Among Them The number one priority of all Armenia’s today should be the formation of a united body and reconcile among themselves. We must first have a strong Armenia–socially–economically–politically–culturally and militarily. The Armenian leadership in Armenia and the diaspora should have taken that initiative from day one of Armenia’s independence. They have failed. Instead Armenia was weakened so much that for some a Turkish-Armenian reconciliation becomes a priority. Do we have to wait for a big power to take our hands and guide us here and there–or are we going to plan our future ourselves–serving thus our interests first and not the interests of other countries or foreign organizations?

The objective of the October 27–1999 assassination of our two great leaders Vazken Sarkissian and Garen Demirjian–who had a closer Russian orientation–within the Armenian parliament was to break the last hope for a strong Armenia. This inhuman act was executed shamelessly by our internal and external enemies–whose true identities are being covered up by the present regime in Armenia. No one could fill the political vacuum created until now–certainly not these four Commission members.

The US–France–Lebanon–Iran or Australia are not our homeland. Armenia is! America is a beautiful country where assimilation is inevitable by the third generation. In the long run–America is a beautiful cemetery for us.

Demographic Forecasting is Political Forecasting Demographic forecasting of any country or region is political forecasting. The depopulation of 1.5 million Armenia’s from our homeland during the past 10-12 years–and the resulting brain-drain produced an irreparable damage to all aspects of life in Armenia. It is quality people that make any organization or country great.

The leadership in Armenia did nothing to stop the mass exodus and–in my opinion–is responsible for a second "Genocide".

Again–Armenia’s today need to reconcile between themselves first–plan and work together for the future of our homeland. That is our number one priority. The Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission is simply a divisive plan by the US and their agents–to further weaken Armenia and impose its influence and terms in the Caucasus region.

It is an extension of the Ankara-Tel Aviv-Washington triangle and a way to find new partners for the triangle. It provides Turkey a "carte-blanche" to enhance military cooperation with Azerbaijan to confront Armenia over the Karabagh issue.

In the economic dimension it provides Turkey and Azerbaijan the security for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline so that they can reconstruct their troubled economy from the oil transit revenues.

It can also give a boost to the now dormant and pro-Turkish Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh)–and may result in their return to power during the upcoming presidential elections in Armenia.

Armenia’s need a new truly dedicated–qualified and experienced leadership that will unite all our efforts in Armenia and the disapora–serve OUR national interests–work tirelessly for the return of our people to our homeland–and GUIDE them to build together a strong–prosperous and truly independent country for generations to come.

Our history calls for it. The Armenian people demand it.

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