The “Global Armenian Summit 2022” is underway in Yerevan. In the coming days, we’ll hear endless drivel about what a great success it was and what a wonderful time its participants had in the homeland.
The name alone is pretty impressive sounding, isn’t it? It’s also different from the names of similar gatherings and conferences held over the years since independence. It suggests to me an intentional effort to stand out, to claim “this is different” from the past, implying that previous instances were “bad” in some way. It fits the pattern of denigrating all the work done by all previous governments.
Its timing is also suspicious. Just as the government of the Republic of Armenia is making announcements about anticipated “progress” in talks and negotiations with the Turks (of Azerbaijan), we have this hoopla. It seems to me to be intended as a distraction from the inept conduct of foreign policy this government has become known for (most recently picking yet another pointless fight with Russia by barring two of its notables – a member of parliament and the [Armenian] head of RT, Russian state media) from entering Armenia.
Meanwhile, we have the farce of this government banning Diasporan Armenians who dare come out against its failed policies. But, hey, they’ve organized a “global” shindig for us “outsiders,” so it’s all OK.
To be sure and fair, among those lined up to speak at this summit whom I recognize, there are credible people. Some of them should have known better than to lend their credibility to buttress this discredited government. But the absence of certain people and organizations (the Catholicoi, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation explicitly and others less so) speaks volumes. And that’s another key point. The organizers have NOT invited ORGANIZATIONS, rather, INDIVIDUALS. Only people with the “right,” “almost right” or non-controversial ideas and issue-sets have the honor of being invited. This way, they can preclude the expression of any opinions not aligned with their destructive agenda. They can maneuver and guide any “conclusions” that might emanate from the summit to bolster their preconceived, predetermined outcome.
All these considerations – the distraction angle, the timing, the roping-in of otherwise decent people, the exclusion of others and the absence of organizational participants (i.e. those with principled, consistent, ideas, positions and approaches) – suggest a regime in the throes of a legitimacy crisis desperate for a boost while simultaneously conducting policy that is far from the best interests of the Armenian republics and Diaspora.
Please suffer the foolish noise that will emanate about this pompous summit from Yerevan with a knowing smile on your face.