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‘Victory’ Diplomacy has Destroyed Western Armenia, Ter-Petrossian Warns

The Armenian issue has once again become a subject of games for outside forces, said Armenian National Congress leader and first president of the Republic of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrossian at an opposition rally in Yerevan this evening.

“On Jan. 23, the French Senate voted in favor of a bill criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide. For obvious reasons, this evoked great enthusiasm among broad segments of the Armenian public, especially in the Diaspora. [Armenian President] Serzh Sargsyan and [Foreign Affairs Minister] Edward Nalbandian, expressing infinite gratitude to the leaders of France, considered this a brilliant victory of Armenia’s diplomacy. As to what role Armenia’s diplomacy had in this matter only God knows, since it’s obvious the French government made this move completely independent — with the aim of gaining French Armenian votes and perhaps also with the aim of thwarting Turkey’s accession into the EU,” he said.

Ter-Petrossian then recalled that the fervor and enthusiasm was premature, since early this week, the French Constitutional Council declared the bill unconstitutional.

“Thus, in my opinion, instead of being enthusiastic and celebrating a ‘victory,’ we should’ve first assessed the Senate’s ‘historic’ decision in terms of promoting or harming the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, because this is the issue of vital significance for Armenia’s security and economic development that no one can deny.

“We hope that the brilliant ‘victory’ achieved about a month ago won’t become like the peace treaties of Berlin (1878) or Paris (1920). As a result of the more brilliant victories of Armenia diplomacy, first the entire population of Western Armenia was destroyed and then exactly half of the territory of the Republic of Armenia was lost. The comparison may seem inappropriate and exaggerated, but the growing emigration [out of Armenia], which is partly a consequence of the failure to resolve the aforementioned issue [normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations], is a threat no less than a national catastrophe,” he said.