Vartan Oskanian to Speak in NY on Turkey-Armenia Relations

NEW YORK—A public lecture by former Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, titled “Roadmap to Where? Armenian Turkish Relations: Pitfalls and Possibilities,” will be held at the Fordham Law School Amphitheater (140 W 62nd St., New York) on June 18 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. The event, sponsored by major Armenian American organizations, is free and open to public.  The event will also be webcast live on

Oskanian served as Armenia’s foreign minister for a decade before leaving office last year. Having previously served as deputy foreign minister and first deputy foreign minister, he was Armenia’s chief negotiator in the Karabagh peace talks from 1993-2008. He has been a witness to and a participant in the historic events that have shaped the Republic of Armenia’s place in the world since achieving independence.

An eloquent speaker, Oskanian has just issued a volume of his speeches as foreign minister. Published by the Civilitas Foundation in Yerevan, of which Oskanian is the founder, Speaking to Be Heard: A Decade of Speeches, edited by Civilitas Foundation director Salpi Ghazarian, contains more than 90 speeches. NAASR is the North American distributor for the book. Speaking to Be Heard will be on sale and available for signing the night of the talk.

Oskanian holds a master’s degree in international law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, as well as a master’s degree in structural engineering from Tufts.

1 Comment

  1. The web site of Mr. Oskanian’s organization (Civilitas Foundation) lists the members of its Honorary Board.
    Please go here to see those members and their bios:
    Mr. Peter R. Rosenblatt is listed as a member of that Board. Right there in black and white, his bio notes that he is on the “National Board of Governors for the American Jewish Committee [AJC]“.
    The AJC is just like the Anti-Defamation League in that it opposes the Armenian genocide resolution in the US Congress *and* has never forthrightly acknowledged the Armenian genocide as “genocide.”
    I would like to remind the reader that the AJC supports Azerbaijan wholeheartedly and has visited that country and said so. This has been widely reported in the Armenian media.
    The reader may also remember the infamous genocide denier, Barry Jacobs, who was a long-time top official of the AJC until very recently. Harut Sassounian and others – including Aram Hamparian of ANCA – have severely critiqued Barry Jacobs in the past. Jacobs also appeared in the Turkish denialist film, Blonde Bride (Sari Gelin).
    What I would like to know is: Why does Mr. Oskanian have a top official of the AJC on the board of his Civilitas Foundation? Mr. Rosenblatt is no doubt a very nice man, but for an Armenian organization to have a top member of a Turkish and Azeri ally – namely Mr. Rosenblatt and the AJC – on its board, well, I would respectfully request that Mr. Oskanian provide us all with an explanation.
    And, while I am at it, Civilitas gets some support (this is right on its web site if you click on “Partners”) from the “UNITED KINGDOM DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (DFID),” which is a part of the British government, which is known to not exactly have warm and fuzzy feelings towards Armenia and which has yet to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. In fact, the British government’s attitude about 1915 is rather nasty.
    It seems to me that taking cash from the UK is not a good idea for an Armenian think tank that wishes to be seen as independent.
    I say the above, of course, with all due respect to Mr. Oskanian and the loyal services he has rendered to his country as Foreign Minister, and I wish Mr. Oskanian a very successful book tour. But I still think we need some answers.

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