To mark the 100th anniversary of the Treaty of Sèvres, Armenia’s National Academy of Sciences hosted a conference on Monday entitled “The Treaty of Sèvres and the Armenian Question.”
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan sent remarks to the conference, which were presented by Vice-President of the academy, Yury Shukryan.
In his statement, Pashinyan drew a direct parallel with some of the issues that Armenia and Artsakh are contending with, saying that at the core of the Sèvres Treaty lies the principle of self-determination and equality of nations.
“The Treaty of Sèvres has a significant place in the modern history of the Armenian people,” said Pashinyan. “It is not a coincidence that it remains the subject to academic studies and research. I consider it extremely important that our scholars’ unbiased analysis of the document signed a century ago and the events that preceded it become available to our people and to the wider international community, as well. Today’s conference serves that very purpose,” said Pashinyan.
Speaking about the importance of the treaty, Pashinyan said that that “it was signaling the end of cursed years. Like the Treaty of Versailles in Europe, the Treaty of Sèvres was forming a new system of inter-state relations in the region. [The treaty] was introducing new principles and values, it was establishing not only peace but also justice in [Asia Minor].”
Pashinyan said at the core of the treaty lies the principle of self-determination and equality of nations. The treaty was ending the centuries-old subjugation of people imposed by empires and was giving independence and freedom to peoples of the region.
“Moreover, by providing the right to establish national states in historic territories, it was creating favorable conditions for the peaceful coexistence of Muslim and Christian people in the region, the preservation of civilized diversity of the region and their further development,” said Pashinyan.
“The Treaty of Sèvres is the international document that recognized and affirmed Armenia’s independence. The Republic of Armenia was acting as a legally equal party to this treaty. Centuries after losing independence, the Armenian government was for the first time signing an international treaty with the Great Powers. The Republic of Armenia was being recognized in the defined borders of the treaty as a full member of the international community and a legally equal subject to international law,” added Pashinyan.
The prime minister emphasized that by being a signatory to the treaty, Armenia’s and the Armenian people’s contribution to the allied victory in World War I and the establishment of peace was also being recognized. The treaty was emphasizing and duly appreciating the Armenian people’s role in international relations and the post-war governing of the world.
“Article 89 of the Treaty of Sèvres was stating and affirming the Armenian people’s historic and undisputed relation with the Armenian Highlands, where the Armenian people were born, lived and shaped their statehood and culture for millennia,” said Pashinyan.
“The Treaty of Sèvres was signed in the wake of the Armenian Genocide as the Ottoman Empire was trying to resolve the ‘Armenian Question’ by exterminating the Armenians. Our people were subjected to the most brutal and inhuman suffering. Enormous losses were inflicted on our nation. Meanwhile, the Treaty of Sèvres paved the way for overcoming the consequences of the Genocide. The establishment of the independent Armenian statehood in its ancestral homeland was the fair solution of the “Armenian Question.” Historical justice was being restored. Favorable conditions were created for reinstating our people’s economic and demographic potential and ensuring its natural development,” explained Pashinyan.
“Although the Treaty of Sèvres was never implemented, it continues to be a historical fact, which reflects our long journey to restore our independent statehood. We are bound by duty to remember it, realize its importance and follow its message,” concluded Pashinyan.