GLENDALE–The ARF "Aharonian" Gomideh public relations committee organized a lecture in response to the French recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The topic for the evening dealt with US foreign policy in relation to the Armenian people.
UCLA History Professor Simon Payaslian and political analyst and lawyer Seto Boyadjian touched upon three fundamental issues: US Foreign Policy and the Armenian People; US Politics and Armenia; Armenian-Americans.
Important points made were as follows. Despite the fact that the US government did not pass the Armenian Genocide resolution–President Clinton and the Democrats have consistently defended the cause. The failure to pass the bill was the result of pressure from State Department officials–concerned about harming relations with Turkey.
It was explained how US foreign policy is based on geopolitical interests. In other words–Armenian concerns are not always the driving force in the formulation of US policy. The interests of US allies–such as Turkey and oil companies interested in the Caspian reserves–dictate US policy in the Transcaucasus. Unfortunately the Armenian Foreign Ministry remained in a weak and incapable position compared to these US interests. Armenia failed to realize how easy it would have been to convince the US to consider building a pipeline across Armenian territory–since this would be viable option.
Recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the US and the international community can be achieved by strengthening the Armenian Diaspora. The Armenian youth living in the Diaspora must undergo a political awakening. The vast number of Armenian students in American universities is an asset to the Armenian Cause. This educated generation must be aware of the Cause and must work toward justice.
Armenia must also implement a flexible policy. Although the Russia’s provide security and defense to Armenia–friendly relations with the US and other countries should be pursued. Armenia’should not be dependent on only one power.
The attendees of the lecture hoped these views would be presented to the Armenian government and would be shared with Armenian citizens. By doing so–a more informed foreign policy can be adopted.
The discussion took place on Sunday–January 28 at 6:00 p.m. in the "Armenag Der Bdrosian" Hall at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale. Armen Danoyan was the moderator for the evening.