Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ARF Quits Governing Coalition

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)--The Armenian Revolutionary Federation on Monday announced that it is quitting Armenia's ruling coalition and cited “insurmountable, fundamental disagreements” over the government's approach toward normalizing relations with Turkey

In a written statement presented by ARF Supreme Council of Armenia chairman Armen Rustamian Monday, the party condemned and called unacceptable the joint statement issued on April 22--less than two days before Armenian Genocide commemoration day--by the foreign ministries of Turkey and Armenia, announcing an agreement on a “roadmap” for normalizing Turkish-Armenian relations. The party also cited serious disagreements on some of the issues that are under discussion between Turkish and Armenian officials.

“Henceforth, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation will work as a new opposition force in Armenia's political landscape,” said the statement, underlining that the party will present alternatives to the current government's policies, and will aim at “counterbalancing and restraining” the actions of the authorities.

Rustamian explained that all party members holding senior positions in the executive and legislative branches will tender their resignations. The ARF was represented in the cabinet by three minister and several deputy ministers, two governors, as well as the deputy speaker post in the National Assembly.

The ARF stressed that it will be dealing with Turkey-Armenia relations and the Karabakh issue based, exclusively, on national interests.

The decision to pull out of the coalition government followed a meeting Saturday between President Serzh Sarkisian and two ARF leaders, Rustamian and ARF Bureau chairman, Hrant Markarian.

Rustamian said Sarkisian briefed them on the essence of the still unpublicized “roadmap” agreement. “The president's explanations did not satisfy us,” Rustamian said on Monday.

The ARF strongly condemned the roadmap agreement, which was announced by the Turkish and Armenian foreign ministries on April 22 and 23. Earlier last week, Markarian criticized the Sarkisian-administration's policies on Turkey, saying that Yerevan has made major concessions to Ankara while failing to secure the lifting of the Turkish economic blockade of Armenia.

Rustamian on Monday reiterated the criticism, saying that Armenia has effectively ended its long-standing insistence on an unconditional establishment of diplomatic relations and reopening of the border between the two estranged nations. He said that Ankara continues to make that conditional on a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and an end to the campaign for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

“The Turks are now trying to turn those preconditions into conditions and include them into a package [deal with Armenia],” said Rustamian, “For them the key thing is to exploit the process of normalization and they are doing that very well. We must realize that.”

Rustamian said that the Turkish-Armenian agreement could deter more countries from officially recognizing the Armenian genocide.

“We must never allow the replacement of the process of international recognition by efforts to force Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide,” he said. “One process should not suspend the other.”

“Nobody here doubts that Turkey will do everything to avoid recognizing the Armenian genocide,” added Rustamian.

ARF Bureau member Dr. Viken Hovsepian will discuss this and other issues during the 8 o'clock hour of Monday's Horizon 180. Watch live www.horizonarmeniantv.com

Below is the full text of the ARF's statement:

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation announces the cessation of its participation in the governing coalition.

We deem it necessary to explain this step in view of its political significance and consequences, and the public's interest.

First of all, the ARF joined the coalition in order to overcome, through uniting of forces, the crisis facing the country following the presidential elections and the threats to the independence and security of the two Armenian states, and with the aim of making coordinated reforms.

During this period there were certain achievements, but insurmountable disagreements on matters of principle emerged with respect to the direction of the foreign policy.

It has always been our conviction that one of the main directions of the state's national security strategy is the universal recognition and condemnation, especially by Turkey, of the Armenian Genocide. This is seen not only in the context of the restoration of historical justice, but also as a way to improve the overall environment of mutual trust in the region, while also preventing similar crimes in the future. In this sense, as we have already announced, we find unacceptable and condemn the agreement by Armenia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to join the April 22 joint statement with Turkey, on the eve of April 24 and when the leaders of Turkey are making anti-Armenian announcements and restating preconditions for the normalization of relations. We also have principled disagreements with the position of the authorities of Armenia on certain issues being discussed in the Armenia-Turkey negotiations. We will publicize our positions regarding those issues when they are discussed in public.

Henceforth, in the political landscape of Armenia the ARF will assume a new role, that of an opposition force. Our main priorities will be:

1. To become a full-fledged alternative to the authorities, proposing our own programs and solutions on all major issues.

2. As opposition to assume the role of effectively counterbalancing and restraining the authorities.

3. To take the necessary actions to heal and refine the political landscape, to form civilized relations between the authorities and the opposition, to establish social justice and to strengthen democracy.

4. To carry on comprehensive programs emanating from electoral promises, showcasing the ARF's ideological and political convictions.

5. In the processes of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations and the resolution of the Karabakh conflict, to be guided exclusively by our state-national interests and goals.

We appreciate the work carried out jointly with our coalition partners and we wish them success in their endeavors in the interest of our state and people.

April 27, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

We Condemn the Turkish-Armenian Agreement

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24 April 2009

We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the agreement reached between Turkey and Armenia on the eve of the 94th Anniversary of the Genocide of the Armenians. Carried with haste and absolute absence of transparency, it raises grave concerns. As it stands, it serves only the interests of the authorities in Armenia. They shamelessly caved in to foreign pressures and interests, thus compromising Armenia's security and the aspirations of the Diaspora Armenians.

Friday, April 24, 2009

U.S. President fails to keep his promise

U.S. President Obama promised on Jan. 19, 2008, if he is elected president, "I will recognize the Armenian Genocide," and repeatedly used the word.

Obama had the opportunity to make good on his promise today and failed. He just could not use the “G” word for some reason.

Harut Sassounian, the Publisher of The California Courier addressed a crowd in Hollywood in commemoration of the 94th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, reporting the news of Obama’s not keeping his promise and stating (in Armenian) that once again in front of the world, he comes out to look like a liar.

For those of you interested in more information on this subject, visit www.ObamasUnkeptPromises.com

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Pres. Obama in Turkey: Excerpts on Armenian Concerns

It’s not a legal issue, it’s a historic issue? I guess the President of Turkey is really hoping that it’s not a legal issue, which in fact it is. The spoils of the Armenian Genocide is in the hands of the present day country of Turkey. Yes my dear President Gul, it is very much a legal issue and those spoils of the Genocide which belong to the Armenian people will have to be returned with interest once the world recognizes the truth.

As for this being an issue to be discussed by historians, I think we have been there and done that a few times already, the last being a joint committee known as The Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission, established in July 2001 at the State Departments initiative and concluded in April 2004. If memory serves me well, TARC asked the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) to conduct a study on the Armenian Genocide and their report concluded that Genocide took place. In the end the State Departments creation failed because Turkey did not recognize the Armenian Genocide and TARC folded in 2004 with no palpable results.

Now I understand that Obama does not want to piss off the Turks right now since he wants something from them, but “might” does not sound very promising to me with the outcome of the next round of TARC and ICTJ or another 3rd party investigation.

I also don’t understand why Obama thinks Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh) should be a condition or component of Turkey’s coming to terms with the reality of the Armenian Genocide. Other than the fact that in 1921, the perpetrators of the Genocide were working with the Azeris to strike the Armenians from the East to finish off what they started and fortunately their top leaders were terminated by my grandfather's team before they could depart for Baku to carry out their sinister plans, Artsaskh really has nothing to do with Turkey coming to terms.

Today’s Artsakh issue should be its own issue that needs to also be resolved, but not mixed in with the 1915 Genocide issue as all it will do is leave room for Turkey to complicate the issue that is very easy to understand.

If Obama does not recognize the Armenian Genocide this April 24th on an official level, then don’t hold your breath and add his name to the long list of people who have not kept their promise to the Armenians who voted them into office.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Azerbaijan people withness on Khojaly events

In light of all the finger pointing of "Genocide" by the Armenians in Khojaly back in 1992, it would be in the best interest of everyone to reopen the case to see what really happened since what is being told as truth does not add up.

The following is a possible answer to what really happened or at very least a starting point to where to start looking for the facts so a report of the findings can be presented to those concerned with if in fact the act of "Genocide" took place that night.

Posted on February 26, 2009 by realarmenia

For nine years after the events in Khojaly official Baku has been obstinately fanning anti-Armenian hysteria with the aim of falsifying real events and discrediting the Armenian people in the eyes of the international community.

The events in Khojaly, which led to the death of civilians, were the results solely of political intrigues and a struggle for power in Azerbaijan.

The real reasons are most convincingly reflected in the accounts of Azerbaijanis themselves - as participants in and eyewitnesses of what happened - as well as of those who know the whole inside story of the events in Baku.

According to Azerbaijani journalist M. Safarogly, “Khojaly occupied an important strategic position. The loss of Khojaly was a political fiasco for Mutalibov”. 1

Khojaly, along with Shushi and Agdam, was one of the main strongholds from which Stepanakert, the capital of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, was shelled continuously and mercilessly for three winter months using artillery and missiles and launchers for targeting cities.

Knocking out the weapon emplacements in Khojaly and freeing the airport were the only way for the inhabitants of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic to ensure the physical survival of a population condemned by Azerbaijan to complete annihilation. The daily shelling of Stepanakert from nearby Khojaly took the lives of peaceful inhabitants - women, children and old people.

Former President of Azerbaijan, Ayaz Mutalibov, has emphasized that “… the assault on Khojaly was not a surprise attack”2. In a “Nezavisimaya gazeta” newspaper interview he stated that “a corridor was kept open by the Armenians for people to leave”3. However, a column of civilians was fired on by armed units of the Popular Front of Azerbaijan on the approaches to the Agdam district border, a fact later confirmed by Ayaz Mutalibov, who linked this criminal act to attempts by the opposition to remove him from power, and blamed it entirely for what happened.

In his recent interview with the “Novoye vremya” magazine, Mutalibov confirms his statement of nine year ago: “The shooting of the Khojaly residents was obviously organized by someone to take control in Azerbaijan”4.

Similar comments and views concerning the events in Khojaly are known to have been made by several other highly-placed Azerbaijani officials and journalists.

There is, moreover, the conclusion of Azerbaijani journalist Arif Yunusov, which differs somewhat from the previous statements: “The town and its inhabitants were deliberately sacrificed for a political purpose - to prevent the Popular Front of Azerbaijan from coming to power”5. In this case, though, the Azerbaijanis themselves are named as the perpetrators of the tragedy.

What resulted from the betrayal of the inhabitants of Khojaly by their own highly placed compatriots is well known. Azerbaijani propaganda has railed to the whole world about the “atrocities of the Armenians”, supplying television stations with horrendous pictures of a field strewn with mutilated bodies. Khojaly is claimed to have been the “Armenians’ revenge for Sumgait”.

Tamerlan Karayev, at one time Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Azerbaijan Republic, bears witness: “The tragedy was committed by the authorities of Azerbaijan”, and specifically by “someone highly placed”6.

The Czech journalist Jana Mazalova, who by an oversight of the Azerbaijanis was included in both of the groups of press representatives to be shown the “bodies mutilated by the Armenians”, noted a substantial difference in the two cases. When she went to the scene immediately after the events, Mazalova did not see any traces of barbarous treatment of the bodies. Yet a couple of days later the journalists were shown disfigured bodies already “prepared” for pictures.

Who killed the peaceful inhabitants of Khojaly and then mutilated their bodies, if the tragedy occurred not in a village taken by Armenians or on the route of the humanitarian corridor, but on the approaches to the town of Agdam - on territory fully controlled by the Popular Front of Azerbaijan?

The independent Azerbaijani cameraman Chingiz Mustafayev, who took pictures on 28 February and 2 March 1992, had doubts about the official Azerbaijani version and began his own inquiry. The journalist’s very first report to the Moscow news agency “D-press” on the possible complicity of the Azerbaijani side in the crimes cost Mustafayev his life: he was killed nor far from Agdam, under circumstances that are still unexplained.

The current President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev, himself recognized that Azetbaijan’s “former leadership was also guilty” of events in Khojaly. Already in April 1992, according to the agency Bilik-Dunyasy, he had commented as follows: “The bloodshed will be to our advantage. We should not interfere in the course of events”. To whose “advantage” was the bloodshed is clear to everyone. “Megapolis-Express” wrote: “It cannot be denied that if the Popular Front of Azerbaijan actually set far-reaching objectives, they have been achieved. Mutalibov has been compromised and overthrown, public opinion worldwide has been shaken, and the Azerbaijanis and their Turkish brethren have believed in the so-called “genocide of the Azerbaijani people in Khojaly”7.

One other tragic detail. It has become clear since the events that 47 Armenian hostages were already being held on 26 February in “peaceful” Khojaly, a fact that the Azerbaijani mass media “covering” the tragedy have failed to mention. After the liberation of Khojaly only 13 hostages (including 6 woman and 1 child) were found there, the other 34 having been taken away by the Azerbaijanis to an unknown location. The only thing known about them is that they were led from the village on the night of the operation, but never reached Agdam. There is still no information concerning what eventually happened to them or confirming that they continued to be held captive by the Azerbaijanis.

Obviously, those who wanted to create the impression that bodies had been mutilated by the Armenians first of all disfigured the bodies of those same Armenian hostages, in order to make it impossible to identify them. Precisely for that purpose the outer clothing was removed from many of the bodies and precisely for that reason the bodies of the unfortunate victims were damaged so badly that they became unrecognizable.

In the light of the above facts it may confidently be said that the killing of peaceful inhabitants of the village of Khojaly and of the Armenian hostages being held there was the work of the Azerbaijani side, which committed this crime against its own people in the name of political intrigues and the struggle for power.


1. “Nezavisimaya gazeta” newspaper, February 1993
2. “Ogonek” magazine, Nos. 14-15, 1992
3. “Nezavisimaya gazeta” newspaper, 2 April 1992
4. “Novoye vremya” magazine, 6 March 2001
5. “Zerkalo” newspaper, July 1992
6. “Mukhalifat” newspaper, 28 April 1992
7. “Megapolis-Express”, No. 17, 1992