Armenian Diaspora Becomes Important Political Factor

Karine Ter-Sahakyan

06.10.2009 GMT+04:00

How important the voice of the Diaspora is, has become clear in the
light of recent developments in normalization of Armenian-Turkish

Until recently Armenian Diaspora was perceived in the world as a kind
of irritating Turkey factor and a tool in the hands of the Armenian
state to advance their interests at international level. Such an
image of the Diaspora has been grounded to some extent, because in
the course of almost all its activity, Armenian organizations around
the world have been engaged exclusively in the problem of recognition
of the Armenian Genocide, and for the past 20 years – the problem of
recognition of Nagorno Karabakh.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Pan-Armenian tour of the President of
Armenia seems to have raised the significance of the Diaspora to
a new level. Let us recall that all the attempts to attract seven
or eight million Armenians scattered all over the world with the
aim to solve problems inside Armenia have almost always ended in
a naught. As a proof to this can serve the three Armenia-Diaspora
forums, all ending in idle talks and non-committal statements. From
then on the Diaspora began to believe that for Armenia Spyurk is a
"milk cow" which is ready to allocate funds out of patriotism. And
nobody could think that the Diaspora is capable of really influencing
the foreign policy of Armenia, and not only Armenia, but also those
states where it is powerful and more united. It primarily refers to
the United States, Lebanon, France and, to some extent, Russia. Russian
Diaspora is less organized as a result of lack of tradition and great
distances, despite the large number of Diaspora organizations. It
is also relatively young and its representatives are not burdened
by the load of ancestors who survived the Armenian Genocide. But in
Russia too can the Armenian community influence the taking on of any
decisions necessary for Armenia.

How important the voice of the Diaspora is, has become clear in the
light of recent developments in normalization of Armenian-Turkish
relations.. Greater part of Diaspora clearly opposes the signing
of any documents with Turkey. It is appropriate to note that
the politically mature part of the Diaspora is Dashnaktsutyun,
which has many adherents in all countries of the world. Moreover,
it has leverage over the governments of different countries in the
form of the Armenian lobby, which, whatever may be said about it, is
quite a powerful organization, especially in promoting true Armenian
interests, among which recognition of the Armenian Genocide holds the
first standing. By the way, precisely thanks to this issue the Armenian
organizations in the USA gain financial assistance for Armenia from the
United States Government. Moreover, it is to the Diaspora that Armenia
should be grateful for the close Armenian-French relations. And under
such circumstances it is simply impossible to neglect the opinion of
the Diaspora in Armenian-Turkish Protocols.

In any event, the Armenian Diaspora is becoming an important political
factor not only for Armenia but also for the whole world. Not without
purpose does Turkish President Abdullah Gul regularly declare that
Yerevan needs to get rid of "opinions imposed by the Diaspora, which
averts the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations". By the way,
this point of view from Turkey is not new and it is continually
voiced as soon as there arises a danger for Ankara. Turkey fears
the Diaspora, and it is quite logical. The strange point is whether
the Turkish leadership is so naive as to believe that the protocols
would be signed without advice from the Diaspora. Or, Ankara is so
confident about the possibility of direct pressure on the President
of Armenia that it excludes such a possibility. It is hard to believe
such a naivete, but it is also possible that like a sly fox Turkey
is trapped with two legs at once.

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