YEREVAN—“Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the soldiers on the Armenian border is a second Armenian army—the ARF’s Hai-Tahd apparatus,” said Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau chairman Hagop Der Khatchadourian as he kicked off a conference of the party’s Hai-Tahd activists in Yerevan on Monday, February 24.
Der Khatchadourian outlined the four key aspects of Hai-Tahd advocacy and activism which will be discussed and assessed during the conference, along with other topics.
The first, he explained, is the emphasis on the republics of Armenia and Artsakh. In Armenia, the Hai-Tahd committees are focused on strengthening the country’s statehood. The priorities with Artsakh are resolution of the Karabakh conflict with inclusion of the right to self-determination along with international recognition of Artsakh.
The second focus of the ARF’s Hai-Tahd work is international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the eventual recognition by Turkey. Der Khatchadourian explained that in order to expand the issue within the legal community, the ARF launched the Legal Institute to advance our cause based on issues “stemming from the Genocide, stemming from Sevres [treaty].”
The ARF leader explained the third priority as the defense of the rights of Armenians who reside on lands that belong to Armenia. Der Khatchadourian added that in the case of Western Armenia this includes cultivating relations and working with local minorities, such as the Kurds and Lezgis, and fostering cooperation with others who have suffered similar fates at the hands of the Ottoman regime—Greeks, Cypriots, and Assyrians.
The fourth area of focus for the party’s Hai-Tahd operations is the politicization of the Armenian people, especially the youth.
Der Khachadourian explained that the Hai-Tahd offices are in constant contact with the foreign ministries of Armenia and Artsakh to coordinate activities and if the approaches are different, to inform and exchange information with them. He explained that the coordination effort with the government kicked off Sunday when a two-hour seminar was held with Armenia’s Foreign Minister and deputy ministers.
The four-day Hai-Tahd conference which kicked off in Yerevan on Monday continues in Stepanakert. The conference will also discuss Armenia-Turkey relations, the new phase of Turkey-Azerbaijan anti-Armenian campaign and protection of the rights of Armenians in Javakhk. Der Khatchadourian also said the conference will explore ways to assist the Armenian community in Istanbul.