Iran Must be Part of Caucasus Peace, Says Markarian

ARF Bureau chairman Hrant Markarian discusses Iran's role in the Caucasus during a town hall meeting in Tehran.

TEHRAN (Alik)–It is unacceptable to be a part of the Turkish-proposed Caucasus stability pact without the participation of Iran, said Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau chairman Hrant Markarian during a town hall meeting at the Sukerian Hall of the Nairi Armenian Cultural Society during his three-day visit to Iran this week.

“For us it is unacceptable to take part in Turkey’s proposed Caucasus pact without the participation of Iran, because we believe that without Iran’such a pact would not be balanced and would endanger Armenian interests,” said Markarian.

The ARF leader also discussed Armenia-Turkey relations, reiterating his party’s firm stance that under no circumstances should any compromises should be made based on Turkish deman’s, since Armenia, for years, has called for the establishment of diplomatic ties without pre-conditions.

“The Turkey-Armenia border was open until 1993, but was closed in that year with three pre-conditions laid out by Turkey for its re-opening: a) the withdrawal of Armenian forces from Karabakh; b) ending the pursuit of the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide; and c) the recognition of Turkish borders by Armenia. However, the leadership of Armenia has always advocated the opening of borders without any preconditions,” explained Markarian.

Finding any compromise on that issue unacceptable, Markarian also added that Turkey should never become involved in the Karabakh conflict resolutions process, in any capacity, including playing a mediation role in Armenian-Azeri relations.

In discussing the status of the Caucasus region in general, Markarian said that since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West attempted to infiltrate the region in an effort to establish spheres of influence. The West was able to penetrate public and governmental structures by utilizing and financing non-governmental organizations, which played key roles in the various “colored revolutions” in the region.

Marakrian added that the West was attempted similar efforts by attempting to influence the last presidential elections.

“When we were deciding whether to join [the coalition government] we were considering various scenarios and issues, including the increase of foreign intervention, which was threatening our self-governance and independence. That is why we joined the coalition to counter these elemen’s and until such time that it continues–that we have work to do–we will remain in the coalition,” said Markarian.

“When we are unable to impact policy, let no one believe that we will stay in the coalition. We have two key issues in Armenia: to maintain national policies within the government’s political posturing and to establish justice in the country,” added Markarian.


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