BY K. KHODANIAN
Former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian has recently put forward a proposal, expressing his desire to lead negotiations with Azerbaijan and international organizations on behalf of Armenia, claiming that he can bring about a breakthrough in the process.
“The first condition is that a group of diplomats be given power, and I will take the responsibility to change the conditions in two to three months, but during those two to three months, Pashinyan should just keep quiet, not speak,” said Vartan Oskanian.
Many on social media, as well as political commentators, referred to this as a simple-minded proposal, recalling Oskanian’s numerous diplomatic failures and blunders in the past, which contributed to the hardening of Azerbaijan’s positions and brought Armenia to the current negotiating point.
Oskanian’s track record includes referring to the liberated territories as “occupied.” He and Kocharian were willing to cede the Meghri region to Azerbaijan, and at one point, he entertained the idea of creating a common state with Azerbaijan. Additionally, he accepted the Madrid principles, which, among other things, would give Azerbaijan the right to veto on the future status of Nagorno Karabakh, thereby depriving Artsakh of its right to self-determination. The former minister, who negotiated and agreed to all of these, is now promising more pro-Armenian decisions when his record has not been so brilliant in the past.
“Enshrining Artsakh’s status as an autonomous region in the negotiations will allow finding a more pro-Armenian solution,” says Oskanian, overlooking the fact that his past negotiations resulted in Nagorno Karabakh being pulled out of the talks, greatly harming the rights of Artsakh Armenians.
Those who are debating the issue of the “negotiator” had twenty years to implement their plans when the conditions were somewhat more favorable for Armenia. They ignored Azerbaijan’s rapid armament and allowed the creation of military imbalance in favor of the enemy. Currently, Baku is speaking and acting from a position of strength, and it does not matter to them who is sitting on the opposite side of the table. Azeri President Aliyev has set goals for himself and is trying to achieve their realization, using his advantageous position on the military front. On the other hand, Armenia is diligently working to restore its army and improve its negotiating posture.
Oskanian’s demand for negotiation authority from the government is misplaced. Instead, he should seek a mandate from the citizens of the Republic of Armenia by running in elections. Currently lacking a mandate, Oskanian’s aspirations may be viewed as arrogant and ambitious, subjecting him to ridicule both domestically and on the international stage. Armenia is a state and has structures with which other countries negotiate.
Oskanian arrogantly demands that Prime Minister Pashinyan stay silent. If there is a question of silence, then all those who were engaged in corruption for twenty years and are now trying to return to power by different means should be quiet themselves. Handing them the power once again is something that is not in the future plans of the people of Armenia.