Letter: Response to Sassounian’s ‘Worldwide Collaboration Required to Confront Pan-Armenian Crises’

Dear Editor:

Harut Sassounian’s recent article, “Worldwide Collaboration Required to Confront Pan-Armenian Crises,” was a well-articulated piece. No one can argue or disagree with the concerns raised. They are serious threats that could explode at any moment and have dire consequences.

There are problems in forming a unified front to handle any potential emergency situation—with many complexities that are difficult to solve and overcome. However, a solution and a plan of action are direly needed. The question is, who or what organization will take the lead to organize such much-needed effort.

Here are the challenges/obstacles:

(1) There is no unity of purpose, goals or objectives in the parliament of the Republic of Armenia.
There are 7 political parties, too many for a small country. The Republican Party has absolute majority versus all 6 other parties combined (69 members versus 62). The opposition has not been an effective force or influence and is not a meaningful front. The president and his party have had and continue to have total control over the legislative agenda, and all economic, political, and social issues.

(2) The Diaspora is too fragmented, with each geographical region having to deal with issues that directly affect them. Different agendas, different priorities.

We have too many organizations, political, non-political, charitable, church related, and on and on, that are involved in various endeavors in the diaspora and Armenia.

They all have good intentions and all serve a purpose, and undoubtedly do some good and are helpful. However, taken individually, their work benefits a very specific, limited area, people, or village without having a real meaningful impact on the whole situation, on the totality of the problem. Funding limits their capacity.

Some of our organizations in the diaspora are flush with cash. What can really become meaningful and impactful is for these organizations to come together and create one “Super Fund” (with the appropriate statutes and trustees) that can develop and embark on a large-scale project that can have a material impact on the economy of Armenia and the welfare of the population. Something that really wows!

(3) Turkey is a mess. Erdogan and his party repeatedly have shown that they are vile, dishonest, untrustworthy, and opportunistic.

Sadly and disappointingly, NATO and its members close their eyes, ears, and mouths to the atrocities committed and games played by Turkey. They blindly and dishonestly place more importance to military considerations than basic human rights and moral integrity. Turkey continues to play on both sides of the fence, and yet the West cannot see what are obvious and flagrant violations of decency and honesty. When will NATO realize that Turkey is an unreliable, unethical, and merely an exploiter?

(4) With respect to Karabagh/Artsakh, the situation is highly complicated and dangerous.

The OSCE Minsk group was established in 1992 to cease the armed conflict and reach a peaceful resolution. It has been 23 years, and the OSCE has not made one iota of progress, has not made a single positive contribution to the process; it is utterly ineffective and suffers from paralysis and diplomatic stalemate. Unless and until the members of Minsk group (12 countries) take the issue seriously and display political will to resolve the conflict, it will continue to drag with no solution in sight.

In the meantime, Azeri transgressions on the border continue unabated. This situation puts a heavy economic and military burden on Armenia.

Someone, somewhere has to become a leading unifying force to put our resources together, develop a plan of action, and implement it. Alas, who is that person or organization?

 

Sincerely,

Vart Adjemian

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Vart Ajemian

Vart K. Ajemian was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1943. He became an ARF member at the age of 16 and was a contributor to the Armenian daily newspaper “Houssaper.” Ajemian worked for a German company in Egypt that was awarded the project of saving the Abu Simbel Temples, as well as for the Australian Embassy in Cairo. In the early 1970’s, he moved first to Montreal, Canada, and then to the United States. Ajemian worked for the Continental Grain Company (New York) for 30 years, holding executive positions in the United States, Italy, Switzerland, and England; the last 8 years of his tenure was as executive vice president and chief operating officer. In 2005, he retired to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He is an avid supporter of the ANCA and a regular reader of the Armenian Weekly.
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