YEREVAN–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Armenian Democratic League (Ramkavar-Azatakan Party) held a joint forum in Yerevan Tuesday to discuss a wide range of issues related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the ongoing efforts aimed at ensuring an international recognition of the Armenian genocide, the rights of Armenia’s in Javakhk, as well as internal political issues in Armenia.
Representatives of both parties stated they have no differences on the problems of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Genocide.
"National unity and accord are phrases that are heard often in Armenian reality," Markarian said in his opening remarks. "It is only natural that political forces are asked by the people to address this request, the resolution of which is only possible only by engaging in dialogue. We have to engage in a political culture that supposes mutual respect, dialogue, tolerance and free exchange of thoughts. I am sure this meeting will have a positive outcome."
"We are the participants and witnesses of an unprecedented meeting: the traditional Armenian parties gathering in Yerevan for the first time in Armenia’s history to jointly evaluate issues like the Armenian Cause, international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, enhancement of Armenia’s international image and defense of the rights of Armenia’s," the Ramkavar-Azatakan Party’s Central Board chairman Mike Kharabian said.
The forum was planned during a meeting between the leadership of the two parties and the Social-Democratic Hunchakian party in April. The latter’s representatives could not attend.
“We have the task of representing Armenian problems and Armenia in the world. These are issues where we can cooperate, but we can support different candidates. It can happen and there is no tragedy in it,” ARF Bureau representative Hrant Markarian said.
“We should have solidarity at least in pan-Armenian questions,” he added. “Rivalry between the ARF and Ramkavar-Azatakan has a long history. If we find the strength to sit down at a table and discuss issues common for both sides, it should also become an example for Armenia’s political life.”
The ARF has declared its clear intention to field its own candidate in Armenia’s presidential elections scheduled for early next year. Its congress is due to pick a candidate between two nominees later this month.
ARF Bureau member Vahan Hovanesian said regarding Ramkavar-Azatakan: “An ideological rival has a greater value for us than competing with a featureless mass devoid of any ideology.”
Vice-Chairman of the Ramkavar-Azatakan Party Asatur Devletian, for his part, did not exclude a scenario in which the emerging cooperation with ARF will lead to their support for the party’s candidate at the presidential election. “It is not ruled out, but there has been no discussion and there is no decision on that yet,” he said.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the parties approved a joint statement in which they expressed willingness to promote efforts toward the further development of Armenia and ensure effective usage of its potential.
The parties also agreed to continue their efforts toward the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. They will continue strengthening the Diaspora in order to handle new challenges.
The statement also said that the strengthening of Karabakh will always be the most important issue. The ARF and Ramkavar-Azatakan will support in the regulation of the Karabakh conflict.
The parties will also continue to strive for national unity and to attain united solution for national issues.