YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation is against the return of any of the liberated territories surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and believes that they should repopulated by Armenia’s instead, said ARF Bureau political director Giro Manoyan during a press conference Monday.
“We are against ceding the liberated territories. We are against giving away any territory,” emphasized Manoyan.
“The notion that Karabakh must be connected with Armenia through a single corridor is unacceptable to us,” he added in a clear reference to the OSCE Minsk Group’s existing peace plan on Karabakh.
Manoyan would not specify what the party will do if the authorities in Yerevan press ahead with the proposed settlement. Blaming Azerbaijan for the collapse of the latest round of peace talks, he said instead that Yerevan should stop even talking about territorial concessions to Baku.
“Given Azerbaijan’s position during the entire negotiating process, we no longer have reason to make such statemen’s, even if they cast us in a positive light,” Manoyan told a news conference. “Because if you say the same thing for many times you will eventually start believing it. So it would be good to put an end to those statemen’s and put the emphasis on resettlement [of the Armenian-controlled lands].”
“It is important to instill in the people the notion that repopulated territories can not be given back. That is why the resettlement must start quickly,” he said.
Manoyan also made the point that the Karabakh conflict will likely remain unresolved in the foreseeable future and that Armenia’should therefore eventually formally recognize Karabakh’s independence. “If negotiations yield no results in two, three, five or ten years ; it is clear that Armenia’should either recognize Karabakh’s independence or annex it,” he said. “There is no other option.”
Manoyan explained the the OSCE Minsk Group Co-chairs are engaged in their own problems in the region and the Nagorno Karabakh issue is not a priority for them.
“Resolution of the conflict depends on the sides. However, Azerbaijan is not ready for constructive moves and hopes for military power and gas. There will be no progress until the election of new presidents in Armenia, Azerbaijan, the US, Russia and Turkey,” Manoyan said. “The Near East is a crossroad of conflicts and Armenia’should intensify diplomatic endeavors to achieve its goals.”
“The international community has come to understand that resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict deman’s much time. While Azerbaijan had better understand that the choice is to be made between Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s independence and its being re-annexed to Armenia. Currently, the talks are held for determination of Karabakh’s status,” Manoyan underscored.
In addressing the Javakhk situation, another critical issue in the Armenian reality today, Manoyan said it is not acceptable that the Armenian population of Javakhk is being constantly threatened by the return of Meskheti Turks to the region.
“The Meskheti Turks should return to their pre-deportation regions. Their homes are occupied by Georgians now. So, the issue is not urgent for Javakhk Armenia’s. The region of Samtskhe Javakhetia is large. Moreover, repatriates are supposed to settle throughout Georgia. If Georgia meets commitmen’s to the Council of Europe, Armenia’s of Javakhk will have fewer problems,” he said.
Manoyan also discussed the upcoming elections in Turkey, and updated the Armenian press on the latest developmen’s on Capitol Hill regarding the Armenian Genocide resolution.