NEW YORK (A.W.)—On Thurs., June 18, Armenia’s former foreign minister, Vartan Oskanian, spoke at the Fordham University Law School on the recent developments in Armenia-Turkey talks.
After a brief introduction by Fordham professor Anny Kaladjian and organizing committee chair Antranig Kasbarian, Oskanian analyzed the possible directions and pitfalls of the Sarkisian Administration’s current approach to talks with the Turkish government.
During his tenure as foreign minister, he said, the Armenian side would insist that negotiations remain a secret; there was the concern that “Turkey was more interested in the process and not the outcome,” and that it would try to use the fact that negotiations were being held to advance its own agenda of derailing genocide recognition.
“The Armenian side has lost the battle,” he said, talking about the announcement of the “roadmap” agreement between Turkey and Armenia made this year on the eve of April 24.
“They [Turkey] have the Armenian side’s agreement in their pocket, and now Turkey can decide when and how to open border. We haven’t received anything in return.”
For Armenia, he said, national issues must remain a priority. Its greatest challenge is to stand strong against immense pressures from other countries to do what is best for them—and not necessarily what is best for Armenia.
After a brief but concise presentation, Oskanian opened the floor to questions from the audience and responded to inquiries ranging from his ideas on the post-election protests, to Armenia’s approach on the Nagorno-Karabagh issue, to genocide reparations and his thoughts on the roadmap.
The event was organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) and co-sponsored by the Armenian Catholic Exarcate, the Armenian Club of Fordham University, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), the Armenian Students Association (ASA), the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), the Knights and Daughters of Vartan, and the Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America.
—Sossi Essajanian contributed to this report.