Where are Armenia’s Partners for Peace?

BY ARAM SUREN HAMPARIAN

It’s self-evident that peace talks are held between enemies, not friends. And it’s reasonable to expect that in any serious negotiations, both sides will need to reconcile some big differences.

That’s OK.

We all want peace.

And peace comes at a cost, and requires compromise.

You know the talk: Search for common ground, conflict-resolution, mutually-agreeable compromises, bridge-building, etc.

It all comes across sounding very reasonable.

Except…when it’s not.

Especially when only one side has a true interest in peace.

Consider Armenia’s potential partners:

Azerbaijan:
Baku is still nominally part of the OSCE Minsk Group peace talks charged with finding a negotiated settlement of the Karabakh issue, but every single material action it takes undermines hope for peace, namely its war threats, cross-border attacks, torture of prisoners, and multi-billion dollar arms build-up.

The Armenian side has rolled up it’s sleeves and is working for a lasting peace, but Azerbaijan’s leaders, most likely because they want to steer domestic attention away from their own failings, seem intent on continuing their march toward a new Caucasus war.

Turkey:
Ankara remains technically engaged in Protocols talks with Armenia (primarily to defer progress toward universal acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide), but, having already criminalized domestic discussion of this atrocity (the core point of contention), has now actually started, as a result of its own President’s legal actions, jailing it’s citizens for the “crime” of calling someone else an Armenian. (Turkey simply cannot act as a partner for peace with Armenia while at the same time using its legal system to define Armenians as the functional equivalent of an obscenity.)

Armenia has taken major, even reckless risks for peace, while Turkey, as its leaders, laws and legal system so clearly demonstrate, has yet to give an inch in terms of its hardline Genocide denial, its blockade, and its other patently anti-Armenian policies.

Sadly, despite all of Yerevan’s good-faith efforts and the highest hopes of the international community, neither Baku nor Ankara have shown yet that they are ready to step up as serious partners for peace with Armenia.

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19 Comments

  1. Lusik said:

    Ankara and Baku patiently work toward diminishing and eventually eradicating all the problems. Why pay if one can get for free?
    Don’t we observe, for instance, that “recognition of Artsakh independence” grew into a “settlement of the Karabakh issue”? Don’t we observe efforts to transform recognition of Armenian genocide into “solving Armenian question without noise”?

    We have a big question here. Why does the Armenian nation let it happen?

    • Stepan said:

      Turkey and its little cousin, Azerbaijan have asingular strategy when it comes to anything Armenian….. wait it out until the dynamics force change in their favor. Azerbaijan knows that they will not be admonished publically for their absurd behavior because everyone is so concerned about being fair and balanced. Turkey denied a crime they commited which is an historical fact; yet they can propose ridiculous ideas like historic commissions because of their geo-political power.
      History is full of examples of “good guys” who play by the rules and get denied justice.
      Our plight has always been one of being morally correct but politically challenged. The good news is that we are very experienced with this problem. Recognize our strength…. we are survivors. So what do we do…. the one advantage we have is owership. Karabagh is ours and as long as we don’t play that card, we will prevail. Turkey/Azerbaijan are counting on the blockade to limit economic development and create domestic instability in Armenia. They are also hoping that the powers become frustrated with the lack of a “settlement” and force a solution. This is why Armenian unity is essential. Unity within the diaspora and unity with Armenia. Nobody wants a war in Karabagh. The powers will not tolerate the economic risks to their interests. Even Azerbaijan realizes that a war that could onlylast a short time, before the powers intervene, could result in further loses. Recognizing these constraints, we need to do all we can to build the economy of Armenia and Karabagh. Jobs keep people on the land…. populating the land creates a new staus quo.

      • Lusik said:

        It is so right, “… as long as we don’t play their game, we prevail”.

        Why Azerbaijan does not want Armenia-Turkey boarder opening before the Artsakh status being determined? Gul had to reiterate Turkey position on this as the December summit approaches. Russia opened its cards as well (read Lebedev). Where is OSCE?

        Azerbaijan is concerned with Turkey’s appetite for Nakhichevan. It suspects that Armenia might have a hidden agreement with Turkey: take Nakhichevan, let us have Artsakh in return, and we will forget raising bills on Armenian Genocide recognition.
        The Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey triangle is “diluted” by Russia participation. It is both wanted and unwanted invitee. Russia wants this region be in constant turmoil. It will favor Nakhichevan-Azerbaijan path opening in return of Armenia-Artsakh path, with no recognition of fully independent Artsakh. Simply a question of “safe” road between Armenia and Artsakh (read Lbedev). This “solution” will be a perpetual seed of animosity, as Russia envisions.

        Armenia learned lessons: future is built on what one has now, not on what is promised. Future is not written, it is fought out. Armenians won the war. Azeris lost the war. If Armenia will lose the diplomatic war (as it does usually), then the world will see Armenia intellectually weak, rogue country, and will become unwilling to recognize neither independent Artsakh from Azerbaijan, nor Armenian Genocide committed by Turkey.

  2. john said:

    lLsik, nothing like what you say is happening. it is all noise. and completely meaningless noise at that..

    why, oh why are some of us are so paranoid to believe the worst. why can’t we for once grow up a little and realize that this a nothing but job security for throngs of western “diplomats”. none of this modern f “conflict resolution”nonsense has ANY real significance for any conflicting party. don’t believe me, just look at all the conflicts arab israeli, greek-turk india-pakistan, on and on. We need to have much less paranoid attitude about all this. and simply realize it for what it really is: permanent job security for western career diplomats and nothing more.

  3. andrew said:

    learn from this we are alone in this world dont rely on anyone we must do it for ourselves all others we cant trust as u can see it has been a long time.just be ready next time baku attacks hit him harder the harder the better.as for turkey he is the same snake as long time ago do not trust give nothing we will find ways be strong be ready be prepared wolves are all around

    • Serge said:

      Right on Andrew, very well said I agree with you 100%, in today’s world if you act weak and naive everybody will take advantage of you and even will crush you if they can. I have suggestion for Armenian goverment, I think in order for Azeris to stop attacking us we can blackmail them by saying if they don’t stop we will blow up the pipline, then you will see not only Azerbaijan will listen but the whole world will listen and will make them to stop. We Armenians, shall learn from Isreal and act tough and strong so nobody can take us for a ride.

      • Jay said:

        Serge

        Don’t forget Israel has the full backing of the United States,EU and NATO. Same is not true for Armenia.

        • Serge said:

          Jay,

          I agree with you, however we are not in bad shape either since we have russians to back us up, since they need us for thier bases. Believe me Russia will never let anyone attack Armenia since they have lot too loose. All western countries are against any conflict in our region because of oil, so there is no reason for us to be afraid of any kind of invasion from our enemies. That’s why I am saying we are in good shape and should not be afraid and should act tough and strong, we should never underestimate our strength and situation and position, we have everything in our side and favor. Again never underestimate our situation/positionan and strength.

  4. Sirvart said:

    I too still don’t know as to why the Armenian nation let it happen (the grave protocols)? I also do not understand why the Armenian nation is still not recognising Artsakh’s independence?

  5. Fred said:

    Azerbaijan is like a well armed mouse trying to tease a cat. Artsakh. But that is no excuse for us not to recognise Artsakh as an independent state. OK Artsakh has a viable Army, A perfectly elected democratic government. But by nor recognising this ancient yet young state as seporate from Azerbaijan, we are mearly supplying political ammunition to Azerbaijan. I for one would concider any Armenian who takes any other stand than recognition of Artsakh as an independent state, as the worst DAVAJAN in the long history of our nation. Even Tigran the Grates son who sold our nation to the Romans thousands of years ago was not as bad as the DAVAJANS living amongst us now.

  6. Zareh said:

    Talking from experience, both personal and historical, the answer to the question posed by Mr. Hamparian lies in the unwavering assertion of power. The tougher we stand the faster we find these so-called partners for peace. Throughout the ages and up to recent times so clearly witnessed in Lebanon, to get peace you have to command respect, to get respect you have to not only demonstrate the willingness but also show the ability to use force. Partners for peace disappear in thin air when the enemies realize we are showing willingness to compromise.

    Mr. Hamparian, our weak stance in negotiations, both with Azerbaijan and Turkey, is the reason why we cannot find “partners for peace”…..not to mention or successive Armenian leadership’s obsequious behaviour vis à vis Russia, which further adds to our weakness.

  7. Pingback: International News » Where are Armenia's Partners for Peace? | Asbarez Armenian News

  8. Frank said:

    Armenia can within 3 months of any new war cause economic disaster for Baku. How far are the Oil pipelines? Think about it, the Azeri governments new billion dollar weapons are only for show.

    Teach them a lesson now, blow up a part of the pipe line just to demonstrate a fact.

    Maybe they will sell Alliyevs mansions in ME & Europe to pay for the new war.

    • Jay said:

      Why blow up the pipeline? Common sense dictates the Armenian Defense Forces should take over Baku and sell the oil for profit,

  9. eddy said:

    Is this not funny “President Abdullah Gul visited London to get the Chatham House award for efforts on Armenian-Turkish reconciliation.” . It seeems President Sarkisian and his foreign minster have nothing to say any more at all!

    President Sarkisian´s administration should have the courage to kill the protocols and giving the fact that Azerbaijnai authorities are guided by an anti Armenian fascism ideology as it was the case with german Nazi regime against European Jews. Artsakh Republic should have the A bomb to protect themselves against Azerbaijani genocidial policy!

  10. Lusik said:

    We are Armenian nation.
    Let us drive online recognition of Artsakh Republic.
    I do not know exactly how this has to go, but I think this is a new power to use.

  11. Jay said:

    Mr.Hamparian,

    To seek peaceful relationship with neighboring Azerbaijan and Turkey is like asking the Fox to guard the chicken house. One grnocide was one too many. I don’t want P-E-A-C-E , I wan’t P-I-E-C-E., (Western Armenia,Cilicia and Nakicevan).

  12. Artak said:

    My friends, while we discuss here how Armenia should punish and win over Azerbaijan, we need to know that we are losing the information war big time and for real. We cannot afford it, as if we lose in the info war, losing on the military ground will simply be a matter of (short) time and technique. I doubt there will even be need for war to crush us after that. The Armenian government must have functional and effective diplomacy, including public diplomacy, its performance is very unsatisfactory now, because when something like Freedom House rates Artsakh UNFREE, you don’t keep silence, you make a big noise out of this. Read here: http://times.am/?l=en&p=4190. Artsakh an unfree country?! This is absolutely unacceptable and dangerous, let alone that it’s false. It is indeed sad that instead of making a big “vaynasun” out of this, the government decided to silence it, this news went almost uncovered and undiscussed in the Armenian media, as if nothing like that happened. But if you silence it, you indirectly admit that it is your failure, besides that its the authors’ biased stand. Protecting us, our reputation, our cause in the information warfare is as much the government’s function, as protecting us in the military war is. We don’t need yet another ministry to fulfill that function, it is first of all the direct responsibility of that of the foreign affairs, they simply need to take their jobs less as an opportunity for tourism and more as hard work of diplomats.

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