YEREVAN (Yerkir)—Armenian Revolutionary Federation parliamentary faction president Vahan Hovannesian pointed to further dangers in a European Union resolution calling for the immediate “the withdrawal of Armenian forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan.”
Hovanessian, who had called a press briefing on his recent trip to Sofia, where he attended a European Partnership for Peace conference, also said that international pressure on Armenia over the Karabakh conflict resolution and relations with Turkey was rising stemming from foreign interests in the region and detrimental to Armenia’s national interests.
By highlighting two other articles in the aforementioned resolution on the South Caucasus, Hovannesian warned that efforts were underway to alter the balance of the OSCE Minsk Group, which has been mediating the Karabakh conflict resolution process.
“This should be prevented. France’s mandate in the Minsk Group should not be turned over to the European Union,” said Hovannesian who explained that resolution was seeking a broader mediating role for Europe by proposing a possible rotating European representation in the Minsk Group.
Another article of the resolution called for the creation of a Black Sea Union, with Russia and Turkey as its key actors. He warned of clear dangers to Armenia’s national interests should such a union be formed and detrimental consequences if Armenia joins this proposed entity pointing to historical examples of consequences of a Russian-Turkish partnership.
Hovannesian criticized the Armenian authorities for making and enforcing controversial decisions, with reckless disregard for public opinion as the impetus for the increased pressure on Armenia by international community, which he said, believed that they can impose any solutions of Armenians.
“Our authorities have failed to realize that they can have a strong position in the international arena only if they have a strong backbone, which is, a society trusting in the authorities. We don’t have such a society today and that is also evident abroad,” explained Hovannesian.
Hovannesian said that the Armenian authorities must be resolute in their approaches to regional and foreign issues and proposed that Armenia withdraw its signature from the Armenia-Turkey protocols to ensure a more equitable approach to the issue.
“Our authorities must realize that they have to listen to the voice of the opposition … that not listening to the opposition leads to deadlock,” he said, adding that by “opposition” he means the ARF.
He added that the ARF will continue to be vigilant and point out and correct the mistakes of the authorities, but warned that if blunders continue there will have to be a change in the leadership of the country.