YEREVAN (YERKIR)–London’s Armenian community celebrated the founding of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)–with a variety of events marking the political party’s 115th anniversary.
An official ceremony on November 11 featured Bureau Representative Hrant Margarian who noted that the organization’s present focus is on the Independent Republic of Armenia–Mountainous Karabagh Republic–Georgia’s southern district of Javakhk–the Armenian diaspora–and advancement of Armenian issues.
Margarian said the ARF has supported the government in Armenia’since it came to power in 1999–because of its progressive policies such as making Armenian genocide recognition a part of its foreign policy–and rejecting a defeatist course of action in the Karabagh conflict–and other strategies.
As a part of the current government coalition in Armenia–which is composed of three political parties–the ARF–he explained–has a clear-cut mission–both domestically and internationally.
"Our position on Armenia’s domestic policy of Armenia is that we should create an environment for dialogue and attempt to give the opposition a role in the politics," Margarian said. "Second–we are fighting against injustice; we are determined–but also realistic. When we discover that our influence is not enough [to bring about reform] we will leave the coalition."
The ARF–which is the only pan-Armenian political party functioning in Mountainous Karabagh Republic–plays the role of opposition there–explained Margarian. "We have to? in order to ensure that there is no disorder; we must keep the government awake and direct its activities."
Margarian also addressed the unstable situation in the mostly Armenian populated region of Javakhk in Southern Georgia. Neglected socially and economically–its population has recently demaned reforms from the Georgian government. The ARF leader said the organization has never pushed for Javakhk’s independence from Georgia. "We have always advocated Javakhk’s autonomy within Georgia. Georgia’s stability is as important for Armenia as for Georgia." He added–however–that deman’s for autonomy are not only fair–but also the only guarantee for Javakhk’s development.
On the issue of Genocide recognition–he stressed that there is a dangerous conception that would separate recognition from reparation. He emphasized that efforts made under the guise of Armenian-Turkish reconciliation reject any notion of reparation and would eliminate the possiblity of justice for Armenia’s.
Speaking about the diaspora–Margarian said a new Armenian diaspora has emerged in the former Soviet republics. While there are not many concerns in the classic diaspora of the past–the new one requires organization. "It carries great political–economic–and human resources," he stressed.