YEREVAN (ARF Press Office)—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation declined an invitation to take part in a conference at Wilton Park, London on “Turkey’s policies for engagement in the contemporary world.”
The ARF Press Service reported Monday that ARF Bureau member Vahan Hovannesian received the party’s invitation to the ARF parliamentary bloc last Thursday to the Wilton Center conference, which is scheduled for March 24 to 27 and will be convened by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
“Regretfully, I have to decline this invitation because we do not attend any meetings organized by or in cooperation with the government of Turkey or attended by Turkish officials, because Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide and refuses to accept responsibility for it. I am certain Turkey’s Foreign Minister would appreciate this principled position,” replied Hovannesian in his letter to the conference organizers.
“We are in favor of dialogue and for Armenian-Turkish rapprochement. However, we have witnessed how Turkey has abused the sincere goodwill gesture by Armenia; it refuses to lift the unilateral and illegal blockade of Armenia, and continues its biased attitude towards the Mountainous Karabakh issue. Hence, we do not wish to provide Turkey with any further levers for its machinations and deceitful conduct,” added Hovannesian.
The ARF Parliamentary bloc chairman concluded his letter by, once again, thanking Wilton Park for the invitation and expressing his anticipation “to participate in other Wilton Park conferences or initiatives with genuine civil society participants.”
“This invitation is part of Turkey’s recently publicized policy, which aims on the one hand to show to the West that it is supposedly in a dialogue with Armenia and Armenians, and on the other hand to try and divide the Armenian side, by attempting to have bogus dialogue with separate circles of society in Armenia and in the Diaspora,” said Hovannesian in response to an ARF Press Office inquiry.
“The ARF is well aware of this Turkish conduct and refuses to succumb to its provocations, especially when Turkey continues its hostile policy towards Armenia and prosecutes those who are genuinely in favor of Armenian-Turkish rapprochement. We all need to be vigilant and to ensure Turkey’s policy fails through a united stance,” added the party leader.