One year ago today Azerbaijan and Turkey mounted an aggressive attack on Artsakh resulting in the death of thousands of military and civilian Armenians and displacing tens of thousands from their ancestral home, all part of a calculated plan to displace and cleanse Artsakh of its Armenian population.
As the unprovoked attacks continued for 44 days, the international community, including the United States, and France—two of the three co-chairing countries of the OSCE Minsk Group, which was tasked to mediate a settlement to the Karabakh conflict—sat back and watched Azerbaijan and Turkey pillage Artsakh and its population. Russia, the third co-chair and Armenia’s “Strategic Ally,” refused to come to Armenia’s help despite the government’s repeated requests during and after the war.
The war laid bare the miscalculations and unlawful actions and inactions of Armenia’s successive leaders during the past 30 years, who opted to enrich themselves rather than advance Armenia’s strength and capabilities. The emigration and the depopulation of the nation resulting from their rule made the army weaker and incapable of confronting the enemy.
After the signing of the November 9 statement, we called on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to resign.https://asbarez.com/arf-leaders-tell-consul-general-pashinyan-must-resign/ It was under his watch that Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian Nation suffered a debilitating defeat. Therefore a new national accord government was necessary to take the nation out of its defeated mindset.
Instead of confronting Armenia’s post war problems, including the difficult demarcation and demilitarization of Armenia’s borders, with a new national accord government, Pashinyan resisted and continues to further erode Armenia’s security, border territories and position on the negotiating table.
Azerbaijani forces have been positioned on Armenia’s sovereign territory for almost five months, and Baku and Ankara are aggressively consolidating their military and economic capabilities.
That is why, a year after Turkey’s brazen and destructive involvement in the war, Pashinyan’s angling to normalize relations with Ankara “without preconditions,” is fraught with danger. We had vehemently opposed the 2009 Protocols, not because we object to peaceful relations with our neighboring state. We do, however, object to the conditions which Turkey forces upon us, and the current situation is no different. In fact, this time around, Turkey has not only presented Armenia with conditions for peaceful relations, it has actually forced them upon us via war and hostility. The stakes are much higher now than in 2009, and the threat to Armenia’s security is more actual and pronounced.
Turkey is eager to show the world that it is not the aggressor that they correctly perceive it is, especially after the 44 day war. Armenia on the other hand should only negotiate from a position of strength and not with a gun to its head. Dialogue yes. Surrender no.
The political forces in Armenia—both within and outside parliament—must work together to ensure that the future steps taken are in Armenia’s and Artsakh’s interests.
As we mark this anniversary, we bow our heads to the thousands of soldiers and civilians who valiantly gave their lives in defense of our Nation. We also hope that the unity and the collective spirit that brought our nation together will prevail as we fight to protect our homeland and, once again, regain what was lost during the war.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Western U.S. Central Committee
September 27, 202