NEW YORK (A.W.)— Armenia’s former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian spoke on Thursday, June 18 at Fordham University Law School on the ongoing developments in Armenia’s talks with the Turkish government.
After a brief introduction by Fordham University professor Anny Kaladjian and organizing committee chair Antranig Kassbarian, Oskanian gave his analysis of the possible directions and pitfalls of the administration’s current approach to negotiations.
He talked about the power play politics that the Turkish government uses towards Armenia, noting how his administration’s policy did not allow official talks with Turkey as it would be used by Turkey to force Armenia’s consent on national issues.
Referring to Turkey-Armenia relations during his tenure as Foreign Minister, he said the Armenian side insisted that negotiations remain secret, because there was the concern that “Turkey was more interested in the process and not the outcome,” and hence it would try to use the fact that negotiations are being held to advance its own agenda of derailing genocide recognition.
Talking about the announcement of the roadmap between Turkey and Armenia on the eve of April 24, Oskanian said that “the Armenian side has lost the battle.” He noted, “They [Turkey] have the Armenian side’s agreement in their pocket, and now Turkey can decide when and how to open border. We haven’t received anything in return.”
Oskanian said that for Armenia, national issues must remain a priority and the government’s greatest challenge is standing strong against immense pressures from other countries to do what is best for them, not necessarily what would be in Armenia’s best interest.
After a brief but concise presentation, Oskanian opened the floor to questions from the audience and responded to inquiries ranging from his ideas on the post election protests, Armenia’s approach on the Karabagh issue, as well as genocide reparations and his thoughts on the roadmap.
The event was organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and co-sponsored by the Armenian Catholic Exarcate, the Armenian Club of Fordham University, AMAA, ANCA, ASA, AYF, knights and Daughters of Vartan, and the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church.