As winter descends upon the Middle East, the plight of Syria’s people, who have endured nearly three years of savage civil war, grows more desperate with each passing day.
In early November, the Hrant Dink Foundation held a conference on “Islamized Armenians” at the Istanbul Bosphorus University, breaking one more taboo in Turkey. Islamized Armenians were hitherto a hidden reality, a secret known by many, but which couldn’t be revealed to anyone, whispered behind closed doors but filed in government intelligence offices, and it finally broke free into the public.
Landlocked, blockaded and permanently under threat of attack from hostile neighbors, the Republic of Armenia faces a multitude of national security issues. These issues are further perpetuated by a myriad of social concerns relating to health, education and poverty; arising from a government wrought with corruption, a business environment dominated by oligarchs and a serious emigration problem.
During a meeting with students of the Azerbaijani State Economic University earlier in November, US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Morningstar announced: “we will work jointly with the Minsk Group and do our best to achieve a solution for the Karabakh issue,” He also admitted that “if the solution of Nagorno Karabakh was easy, we would have done it. I believe that it can be solved only when the conflicting parties make firm decision to solve the problem once and for all.”
According to Colonel Andrey Ruzinsky, commander of the Russian troops stationed in Gyumri, Armenia, the Russian military base could openly side with Armenia in case of a renewed Armenia-Azerbaijan war for Nagorno Karabakh. This would be within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
Come and take it, we can’t deal with this any more! This was supposedly the message in Zori Balayan’s letter to President Putin of Russia on the issue of Karabakh. Apparently, Mr. Balayan has suggested that based on the Treaty of Gulistan, Russia is the rightful owner of the de facto Armenian republic of Karabakh. Interestingly, since this ‘news’ hit the Armenian media outlets, Balayan has rejected the notion of offering Karabakh to Russia.
On October 16, at 20 30 hours another Armenian defense force officer, senior commander of strategic planning, Captain Kevork Mnatzaganian was killed as a result of Azeri machine gun fire. Seriously injured were senior corporal Karoush Hampartsoumian, privates Nareg Hagopian and Edgar Haroutiounian. Over the last several years, over one hundred members of the Armenian Defense Forces were either killed or injured by Azeri border attacks or sniper fire.
On Wednesday, opposition parliament member from the Heritage Party Zaruhi Postanjian found herself in the middle of maelstrom of controversy and attack after she chose an unlikely forum to lash out at the Armenian president. This further highlights the lack of diplomatic finesse that plagues Armenian representatives as they travel the world under the banner of the Republic of Armenia.