Armenia On The Regional Plane

Harutyun Gevorgyan

Hayots Ashkharh Daily Newspaper
22 Aug 2007

Political analysts, American-Armenian Richard Kirakosyan, and
Lebanese-Armenian Aspet Kochikyan introduced their evaluations
and predictions regarding the current events in Near East, Turkish
internal political developments and Armenian -Turkish relations, in
"Urbat" club yesterday.

Professor of the department of political sciences and international
relations of Florida University Aspet Kochikyan firstly clarified his
attitude regarding Armenia-Diaspora relations," For 17 years Armenia
has become a modern, up-to-date state, but it is still facing a problem
of accomplishing the statehood. Yes, we have Diaspora, that is part
of Armenia and Armenians, but we should take into consideration the
fact that the approach of the state and the nation towards the same
phenomenon is usually of different nature. It is not always that the
interest of the nation and the state match."

The speaker said we don’t manage to make effective use of the Diaspora
potential. The role of financial, material assistance is of course
great but to make Armenia a competitive state in the region it is
especially important to change the mentality of the nation, and the
level of social, cultural relations. For the last 8 months, after the
law on dual-citizenship has been passed, the question of the role of
Diaspora in Armenia is being discussed in Diaspora Colonies and to
what extent they can be citizens.

Diaspora is tired and there is no power to stimulate
them." A. Kochikyan says.

Richard Kirakosyan, that has great work experience in various US
military and political institutions, has expert and analytical skills
abstained from touching upon internal political issues and relations
with Diaspora. He preferred to value Armenia’s regional role. He
believes Armenia has established stronger, multi-nature, and deeper
relations with Iran than Azerbaijan has at presents. "Azerbaijani –
Iranian relations are not only chaotic but also problematic, while
Armenia underestimates its importance for the Russian Federation and
mainly Iran. Armenia must pin its hope on its military, economic,
cultural, and scientific potential and never on West, East, or anyone
else. " Before evaluating the present state of Armenian -Turkish
relations Aspet Kochikyan considered it important to record that
the interstate relations between the two countries are not normal
because of the close border. We should take into consideration that
present-day Turkey is far not the same as it used to be 60 or even 7
years back. In former Turkey they used to carry out internal political
and military coup d’йtat on every occasion. There are political
powers in present-day Turkey that should be used for the benefit of
Armenia. Our principal challenge is the fair solution to Karabakh
issue. In the context of this reality official Ankara can’t ignore
the strong pressure from Baku. But in case Armenian-Turkish border
opens Armenia will negotiate with Azerbaijan and all the other powers,
from comparably better positions."

R. Kirakosyan believes it is not simple governmental changes but
rather profound alterations that Turkey intends to make through
the presidential elections that is connected with Turkey and the
identification of the Turks.

Today Turkey is facing East – West alternative and it has to choose
between democracy and pan-Turkism.

"Turkey’s membership to the European Union can be a security guarantee
for Armenia. But the latest events that took place in this country
bear out that official Ankara denies Western course. And the main
reason for this is the process of establishing Kurdish independent
state in Northern Iraq by the assistance of the USA. I’m sure; in
the near future Turkey will clarify its attitude. That is why Armenia
must be ready to withstand any possible danger expected from Turkey,"
the analyst states.

Touching upon the failure of Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Guile
to become a president A. Kochikyan said," Turkey, as a collectivity,
was confused when the ruling party in Turkey nominated Guile’s
candidacy to presidency. Even the army gave signs to interfere in
politics. But during the parliamentary elections 45% of the electors
voted for Islamic pro-governmental party. However Guile persistently
states that he is going to be not pro-Islamic but the president of
all Turks. Eventually he will become a president. And though this
position is mainly formal we shouldn’t overlook the fact that it
envisages the right of veto.

Should Turkey abandon West and choose East Guile-president will have to
bargain with Turkish generals and the people. Should the army doesn’t
reach an agreement on this issue it will use all the levers against
Guile. I don’t think that matters will take such a turn that they
will carry out a coup. Pro-Islamic powers represent the essence of
Turkish people, which is very far from Europe both in psychological
and cultural terms."

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