OSKANIAN: SYRIAN-ARMENIANS' SECURITY SHOULD BE FOREIGN POLICY PRIORITY FOR ARMENIA

tert.am
31.10.12

Ex-Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian has addressed the Syrian-Armenians'
situation in a new Facebook post.

Proposing steps to assist the community, the politician says that
the Syrian-Armenians' security should be a foreign policy priority
for Armenia.

"Over five thousand Syrian-Armenians have now found a shelter in their
homeland, leaving behind their houses and business. Both they and we
have two key issues on our minds - when and how the Syrian nightmare
is going to end, and what it is that Armenia can but hasn't done so
far for the Syrian Armenians," Oskanyan says, stressing the importance
of realizing the true causes behind the conflict.

As a possible answer to the first quesiton, has suggested three
factors, including the atmosphere caused by the Arab Spring, the
tension and dissatisfaction that accumulated in the past four decades
and the foreign forces' bias to topple Assad.

Oskanian, now a lawmaker of the Prosperous Armenia party, notes that
the factors have changed have change since the outbreak of the Syrian
crisis two years ago.

"The majority of the Syrian population is now coming to realize that
it is paying a very heavy price for its own initiative to launch
reforms as they are being speculated by others. As to the foreign
forces, they seem to have arrived at the conclusion that it will be
impossible to topple Assad in this way," he says, adding that the
forces which have penetrated into Syria in the past two years can
now have a more influence on the conflict resolution than a possible
US-Russia agreement or the conflicts and deals between the Syrian
regime and opposition.

Addressing the second question, Oskanian says that the Armenians are
the only minority community in Syria, which have a national state
offering them a support and privileges to ease their burden.

"But the problem is that the majority of the Armenian community
remains in Syria, facing higher threats to life by every day. It
is at this point that Armenia has serious steps to make, using its
diplomatic levers to relieve the situation. I do not see any active
consultations with Damascus, Moscow and Tehran on the one hand and with
the countries actively involved in the process on the other. So far,
our diplomacy has not shown any efforts to work at least with the
United States, Qatar, Lebanon and Jordan. I would rather we hadn't
spoiled the relations to Turkey to such an extent as that would make
a dialogue possible. I think the foreign minister has to meet with
the UN peace envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi.

In other words, the existence and security of the Syrian-Armenian
community should be among our foreign policy priorities," says the
politician.