Genocidio Armenio


Cultura y sociedad

martes, 28 de octubre de 2014

"I am victim of two genocides"

The Palestinian ambassador in London, Manuel Hassassian, and Professor and Israeli activist Edy Kaufman, had a debate on the conflict between the Palestinians and Isralies in the Argentine Council for International Relations. Prensa Armenia spoke with Hassassian to ask him about Armenian issues and current geopolitics of the region.

What's the concept of multi-track diplomacy?

Multi-track diplomacy is a way of discussing in what we call "not formal negotiations". Diplomacy on different level and second track negotiations are not legally binding. In second track negotiations, the sky is the limit. You can say whatever you want. Is like thinking outside the box. And it generates a lot of ideas. It focuses on having no boundaries in the terms of discussion, in order to reach solutions that are more close to realism. In order to reach that stage, you have to come up with a million of ideas.

It's like an informal approach?

Yes, very informal.

Have you or Kaufman received any critics of this?

No. It has always facilitated information, set precedents or gave scenarios of how to tackle the problems. In formal negotiations you are stuck on zero sum conflicts. You are afraid to give any concessions because anything you say might be taken against you. But in second track negotiations you can say whatever you want, and then you can factorize and prioritize what you want. Eventually, first track negotiations can take the best of what you have done and use it as a means of reaching an agreement.

This can be used in any conflict?


For example, in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

I have a very one sided position on that. I'm an Armenian, I believe this is called Artsakh, this is our land. In the past we were abused by the British in 1917 during Lloyd George, for the concession of Baku's oil to Azerbaijan. This conclave was given to the Azerbaijanis for economic interests of course, and then, after the Bolsheviks revolution, they did not want to change the status quo.

Nagorno-Karabakh or Artsakh has always had a majority of Armenians; at least 80% has always been Armenian.

Do you have any criticism about United Kingdom position on this issue?

United Kingdom follows United States foreign policy. Azerbaijan has oil...

And British Petroleum is one of the major shareholders of SOCAR.

Yes. Our main supporters are the Russians and the Persians, because they gave us land, and we are landlocked. Even the Americans now are changing because of the strong Armenian lobby in Capitol Hill. I can see that there are shifts, not dramatic shifts, but some of them in the direction of accepting the historical fact that Artsakh has always been an Armenian enclave.

And if United States changes its policy, do you think United Kingdom would change?

Yes, as now we are seeing some changes in the UK.

What is the situation of the Armenians in Jerusalem?

The situation in Jerusalem is terrible. At one time, Armenians were 17.000, but today the Armenian community is less than 1.000. The constant emigration to Latin America, United States, Australia or Europe is an indication that the economic situation is terrible. And secondly, they are caught in the conflict. Jerusalem is divided into four quarters: the Muslim quarter, the Jewish quarter, the Armenian quarter and the Christian quarter. The Armenian quarter is considered to be one of the biggest and it is so strategically found that it is adjacent to the Jewish quarter. Many of the houses within the Armenian quarter, unfortunately, have been sold by ex-patriarchs. The Armenian community was against it, we fought against it but there was nothing we could have done.

We are a very important factor in the conflict when it comes to Jerusalem, because we own a lot of properties in west Jerusalem and we have one of the richest and oldest churches in Holy Land. Regardless our number is small, our political influence as a community through the church and the properties that we own we are considered a determinative factor in the future process of negotiating Jerusalem.

What can you say about the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide?

This is a crime that has been unpunished. This is a crime that Turkey has to acknowledge. It's about time that Turkey understands that 1.500.000 Armenians have been killed in an atrocious and systematic manner that we refer to it as genocide, coined by Raphael Lemkin. This is something that the international community should put pressures on. It’s not enough that some of our allies, the European countries like France, are pushing and not allowing Turkey to become part of the European Union because of its position concerning the Armenian Genocide. We believe that the Turks have to acknowledge that the genocide has been committed and there should be compensations at a later stage. It cannot go continuously unpunished.

As an Armenian I always throw paralelism between the Armenian question and the Palestinian. I am victim of two genocides. This is a current genocide that is happening.

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