"Active Diplomacy Is Essential For Armenia"

Khatchik Der-Ghougassian


On November 19, political scientists, international relations experts,
analysts from different countries around the world, as well as experts
and historians from Armenia participated in the Pan-Armenian Conference
of Political Scientists and International Relations Experts on “The
Challenges of the 21st Century and the Security Issues of Armenia” at
the RA National Academy of Sciences. “Hayern Aysor”‘s correspondent
sat down for an interview with Argentinean-Armenian international
relations expert Khatchik Der-Ghougassian.

“Hayern Aysor”: Which city of Argentina do you live and work in?

Khatchik Der-Ghougassian: I was born in Lebanon, live in Martinez
city and have a doctor’s title in international relations from the
University of Miami. I work and lecture at San Andres University and
the American University of Armenia.

“Hayern Aysor”: Do you manage to work in two distant cities at the
same time?

K.D.G.: Yes, I do. My classes at the American University of Armenia
fall in line with the summer vacation period in Argentina.

“Hayern Aysor”: What are your expectations of this conference?

K.D.G.: My main expectation is to listen to my colleagues and establish
the network that needs to be established. If this conference has a
positive impact on Armenian political officials’ policy, we will have
achieved great success.

“Hayern Aysor”: International organizations are currently dealing
with the issue of Armenian Genocide recognition and condemnation and
the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution. Which of these issues do
you think is the most primary issue?

K.D.G.: There can’t be a primary issue. All these issues are a part of
one agenda, that is, the advancement of Armenia’s national security
and identity issues which are all interrelated. The solution of any
one of these issues can’t be delayed to give preference to the other.

“Hayern Aysor”: For years we have been discussing a peaceful settlement
of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Do you see a peaceful resolution
of this conflict in the future?

K.D.G.: I don’t see it in the near future since Azerbaijan is currently
unwilling to negotiate. At the same time, I definitely don’t believe
in a military solution. If Azerbaijan was sure of a military solution,
it would have resolved the conflict by now. But Armenia is mainly
discussing the continuation of the status-quo, and that’s why it’s
important for Armenia to have a social-economic policy that will help
Armenia show resistance in this long-term conflict. I would say if
having a reserved army is the number one way of showing resistance
to Azerbaijan’s ambitions, then that is immediately followed by the
improvement of social-economic conditions so that Azerbaijan never
hopes to bring Armenia and Artsakh “down to their needs” due to the
poor social-economic conditions.

“Hayern Aysor”: It seems as though the international community is
aware of Armenia’s issues and is concerned about them. Is that right,
Mr. Ghougassian?

K.D.G.: It’s not that the world is only concerned about Armenia’s
issues. We also see the issue in Palestine, the economic crisis in
Europe and the war in Syria…The fact that our key issues haven’t
made the world break into frenzy is sometimes good and sometimes bad.

“Hayern Aysor”: Are Armenian political scientists and international
relations experts that powerful for us to be able to raise our issues
to the world and solve them by ourselves?

K.D.G.: There is no country, no nation and no diplomat that can be
isolated from the rest of the world. We are all interconnected,
especially for a small country like Armenia, which is in a very
unfavorable geopolitical situation. Active diplomacy is essential
for Armenia. Armenia’s active diplomacy and strategic partnership
with the Diaspora serve as a means to end the blockade and pave the
way to the outside world.

Interview by Karine Avagyan