Page 1

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Our Spirit.

l-aru

ffices of

RafrOufalian

Law Offices of Rafi Ourfalian 3900 West Alameda Avenue, Suite 2100 Toluca Lake/Burbank, California 91505 Telephone 81 8.841. 5757 / Telefax 81 8.841.9004


Cover Story

OntheWorld Stage

Armenia's entry into the United Nations signals the fuffillment of its drivefor independence. But what road witl the republic take now to secure its place in the community of nations?

Plus exclusive interviews with President Levon TerPetrosyan, Azerbaiian' s foreign minister, Hussein Sadykov andaprofile of Armenia's ambassador to the UN, AlemnderArzoumnnian.

12

lnternational

Assessing Azerbaiian

Nilala Sclruhgaldian, Middle Eastern political expert, on the dfficult political and ecornmic landscape in

Azerbaiian.

2A

Gontact

Land of the Rising FriendshiP

AJapan-Armenia society inTolqo? Strange but trueand-membership is booming thnnlcs to the drive and dedicationof itslapanesefounder

3l

Leisure

Gulture Goes to GamP

School holidays will soon be here and that brings thoughts of summer vacation. NM loolcs at some of the Arminian sumtncr camps, which seek to mix good times and culture into an appealing combinntion.

92

Profile

(X Sons and Fathers

Novelist Aram Saroyan on coming to terms with the

memory of his famous father, and his own painful iourney of

self-discovery

gT

Art

Hues of Enchantment

Contemporary sryle and traditional Armenian decora' tionfuse inlerusalem artist Marie Balian's tile paint'

ings,whichare gaining international

Publishers'Note

Letters Faces

4 5 8

attention.

lo

GloreUp

36

Book Essay

42

Cover Design: Yahe Fatta! Cover Photo: Harry Koundakilan

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From the Publishers

Prall.h.d by AlI, !m. EDIfOR-!N.clllEF:

Vartan Oskanian

EXECUTIVE EDIfOB: Salpi Haroutinaan Ghuarian

IAXAGlilc EDlrOn! Ratti Shoubookian (Engtish) he happiest moment is also a moment of crisis. At last, Armenians have a country recognized by the world as the Republic of Armenia. The rise of the long-dreamed homeland is cause for unabashed celebration across the Diaspora. Yet, it also raises the most profound question for millions of people communities across the globe. Who are we now? For so long, and as a direct result of the situation within the Soviet union, Diaspora Armenians have defined themselves as the guardians of national aspirations and custodians of an historic culture. Armenians in the republic can now actively play both thoseroles, andthe Diaspora'sdiscomfortisplain. Are wenow Americans,orFiench, orLrbanese citizens who happen to shareaheritage that is Armenian? Are we teachers to the new republic or willing

The reality of

servants ofits needs?

Some have solved this identity crisis in the most direct way-by moving to Armenia to help build the home-

land. This is obviously not possible for everyone, nor even desirable. Yet the problem must be tackled if the Diaspora is to create a vibrant

contribute.

future which energizes the silent majority into support for the fragile republic. A sense of the national

well-being-:rotpartypolitical affiliation, religious rivalry, orhistoric antagonism-

ought to guide financial and technical support from the wealthy communitGs around the world. Importing into Armenia dead-end arguments that have divided the Diaspora only weakens the goal ofnation building. The reality ofstatehood is a new experience for everyone-we all have something to leam and to contribute. [,etthose who wish tocompeteforpolitical influence in Armeniagotothe republic and place themselves at the mercy of the electorate. we who remain outside ought to pledge to help the country ofour heritage in any way requested by a popularly elected leadership.

IAllAOlllc

EDI?OR: lshkhan Jinbashian (Armenian) EDITOBIAL COLSULTAI T: Minas Kojaian

EDlfOn EIERITUS:

Charies Nazarian

DIREGTOB OF OPCnATlOia3: Michaet Nahab€i COtafBlBUllXC ED|IOBS: Kevork tmirzian: Ara Kalaydiian; Haig Keropian; O. Keshishian; H. Sassounian

A816 EDIIOR: Neery Melkonian (Santa Fe) IEDIGAL EDITOR! Vicken Babikian (Boston)

STAFF WBITEBS! Tony Halpin, Viken Bsrbsrian ASSISTAII? EDITOR: Katherine Chiljan

COIIIBIBUTOnS: cerard

Libaridian, Florencs Avakian, M@rad Mooradian, Armen Aroyan, Gilda Kupolian, Linda Kirishjian, Christopher Atamian, YvetteHarpootian, Gerry S.

Graber, Michael Mastarciyan, Lota Koundakjian, Susan pahi€, Taline Voskeritchian ZanKU Armenian, Chicago: Sonia Oerman Harlan Detroit: Simon payaslian

GOnBESFOIIDEIITS. Washington:

Boslon: Arto Payaslian San F ancisco: Janet Samuslian

llonlreal: Gulizar J. Mardirossian London: Ani Manoukian Paris: Armineh Johannes, Khatchik Kechian Brussels: Kevork Oskanian Vienna: Sebouh Baghdoyan Amstetdsm: Arsen Nazarian Tokyo: Sonia Katchian Ammani Ara Voskian

Sydmy: Haig Lepedjian Buenos Aircs: Sam Sarkissian Moscow: Tigran Xmalian YEBEVAX BUREAU: Papken cadachik (Chiet); Gourgen Khajagian

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AET DIBECTOB: Vahe Fattal DIRECTOn, CnEATIVE SEBYICES; Dicran Y. Kassouny PFODUCIIOX DIBECTOn: Vartan Karaoghtanian PRODUCTIOII OPERATIOiI'S OIRECTOR3 Azniv Oknaian

ClBCULAllOll DIRECTORT Thomas Yeterian IABI(ETIXG tAllAGEB3 Armenia K. Sinanian

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that gave Armenia its independence. The ARF never claimed or will claim [to have achievedl Armenia's independence. What it did is keep the hope and the will of independence alive in the hearts and souls of Armenians. It is about time writers like Ms. Ghazarian stop using their pens and start using their pockets tohelp Armeniaand Karabakh as the ARF is doing, and if she pleases, let her show me or anyone else what [other] organizations are helping Karabakh beside the ARF.

GaroZohrabian Glendale,California

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"Diaspora'woe3

I found Salpi Ghazarian's article (Cover Story, Feb,ruary) very enlightening, as she is voicing the disappointrnent of independent intellectuals, of people from different political parties as well as young Armenians. The common denominator of the various opinions in the article is dissatisfaction with the lack of unity to support the Hayrenik (Fatherland). I believe that these opinions are shared by a large numberof Armenians in the Diaspora who constitute a silent majority. I hope wholeheartedly that there will be more and more articles written about this issue, until the message is spread and a solidarity movement is generated to support our motherland in a unified, organized and methodical manner. Sona Avedian

Glendale,Califurnia History has very quickly moved onto the

fast lane. Our lovable "nomad," Gerard Chaliand, is qualified enough to state that "change

will occurwhetherArmenianpoliti

calparties want itornot."Whatl wonderis if thepartiescanchangefastenoughtoresurrect their own pioneers, or like other multitudes join the dream times of yesteryear. I tend to agree with Irvon Jemazian's conclusion: "Whatever is to be done is to be done by me.I don'trely,I don'texpect...I do what I can do." lrvon confirms the Power of One. We have had enough debates and discussions. Now it is time to address the very obvious issues by applying upto.date market forces to work.

HratchJ. Dilanchian Australia

F ore snille, N SW

I was very upset by the words used by Salpi Haroutinian Ghazarian in "Brave New World," claiming that it was the Armenian Revolutionary Federation/Dashnaktsutiun

The Cold War was the main reason that separated our Church. How successful will we be in reuniting Karabakh with Armenia, separated from it by a few miles of land, when we can't even reunite two of our own churches separated by a chain-link fence? When will our Church leaders wake up and realize that small parishes such as those in Niagara Falls are seeing their membership dwindle and their youth distancing themselves from the religious community forever. These churches may cease to exist in the near future, and having two side by side in

a tiny community is a luxury we can ill afford.

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Sarkis Barghamian P alisades

Park, N ew J ersey

Port and protoco! Your article entitled "Sea of Diplomacy" (Special Report, February) was interesting and positive. However, the last paragraph is disappointing due to a contradiction in For-

eign Minster Raffi Hovannisian's view of the future.

"The Armenian Government never has, will encourage the Diaspora to play soft on... the genocide," he said. "Parallel to our remembrance of history...we believe Armenia should normalize relations with...Turkey." Being a Turk of Jewish faittt, I am entitled to have an understanding of the accuser and the accused. All the members of my father's family were taken from Saloniki in the early 40's by the Germans to a concentration carnp in Poland, where they disappearedforever. Yet,I am driving aMercedes and often visit my friends in Germany. According to my logic, it would be unjust to never

oftheir fathers. Sometimes, when meeting an old German, I may wonder whether he was in any way part of the extermination machine, but I force myself to chase away such disquieting questions. Such a question cannot possibly haunt any Armenian when meeting a Turk of any advanced age, since the alleged Genocide happened way back in 19 15. [Due to my involvement in the Trabzon port project,l I became the target of an insidious and nasty campaign of false and demeaning accusations, lasting nearly two accuse the sons for the sins

AIM, April

1992

AlMfor

Educotion

Bring AIM trc your clossroom where issuesof inbresib the Armenion communily ond lhe world con be studied, discussed, queslioned ond finolly, serve ftc focilihte mutuol understonding. Let us showyou hcwlOrder complimenlory copies of "AlM For Educolion" br o bocheryou know.

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weeks, and peaking aroundtheendof February. On February 28, I was lambasted by no less than 14 columnists in nine of the largest newspapers in Turkey, an undesirablerecord in the history of the Turkish press.

a Rotary Club delivered at ttre Black Sea University Campus of Trabzon, one-third of the students walked out in protest. During my speech to the remaining 5fi), I expressed my frustration against the negative press campaign and declared that I would pull out of the Alport project, halting all efforts in this direction. My enthusiasm in trying to have a humble contribution in bringing two neighboring nations to friendly cooperation and coexistence tumed into deep disappointment. I became the victim of circumstance, with the old conflict between the Azerbaijani and Armenians flaring up again in ttre early On February 29, during

speech

part

I

ofthis year.

The attitude of the two Turkish officials and businessman appeared to reflect the budding success of the policy President TerPetrosyan announced in New York in October 1990 (beginning normal business relations between Armenia and Turkey without preconditions). On the other hand, it is clear thatTurkey shouldhavemovedmorequickly to act on Ter-PeEosyan's offer. But opponents of this policy---both Turks and Armenians---have been actively working to stop good-faith attempts in support of normalized relations without preconditions. tshak Alaton and we have been caught in that crossfire; thus, AIM's treatrnent of the issue is even more appreciated.

Hirair Hovnanian Van Krikorian Washington,D.C.

Mr. Hovnanian (a partner in the now-stalled venture) for my assistance. Wishing tocontinue myefforts at the other end, I requested that he invite me to the United States, so that I can address the Armenian Assembly of America as a Turk-

It is unwise to hand over Armenia's strategic lifeJine to any other county. This will subject Armenia to further economic dependency and political vulnerability. Armenia should develop its own resources for economic independence and invest heavily to create a large and effective air transportation

offriendly relations. I hope this invitation will come in the

system integrated to a network of wellplanned industrial and commercial airports

foreseeable future. I intend to propose that, as a gestureof goodwill, they startby changing the "April 24 Genocide Day" into the "April 24 Remembrance Day." Then, maybe, we canjoin in your prayers for our lost relatives. I just saw on TV pictures of the latest atrocities committed both on the Armenian and Azeri sides. This senseless, fratricidal bloodletting must be stopped at all costs. We cannot build a better future on the mutilated bodies of our neighbors.

commercial gateway to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Airtransportation is the only viablemode for effective commerce and fast integration with the global economy. This will more than compensate for our lack of seaports; it will provide significant national employment, significant revenues to the national treasury, and, above all, will keep Armenia

I have been praised by

ish industrialist in quest

P resident,

IshakAlaton Alarko H oldings Istanbul,Turkey

Given the importance of economic relations between Armenia and all her neighbors, your balanced and thorough article of

joint venture (Special Report, February) which we, as a principal and attomey, are

the

involved in, is both timely and appreciated. We especially appreciate your investigation and confirmation of facts. Two points of clarification, however, are in order. First, we met Mr. Alaton in New York City on November l, not in New Jersey. Second, you conectly noted that both the Armenian Foreign Ministry and we have denied compromising the Genocide as a part of the joint venture. Mr. Alaton also conf,rmed that point at our Moscow meeting in December, and again in February when he wrote to Van. In fact, when we traveled to Turkey and met with Turkish Foreign Min-

ister Cetin and chairman of the Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Dincer, the Genocide was not even mentioned as an issue with respect to our joint venture.

in Armenia to assume the historic role of the

in control of its sffategic assets andeconomic

future. However, I do agree that Armenia has to promote relations with all its neighbors and establish economic relations with Turkey as a conduit to the European Community and the Westem markets. For all those Armenians who disagree, I would say: Armenians had enough of living with the past, it is time to exercise pragmatism, manage the present and plan the future.

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,",0"{,lttliifif,l The idea of linking Armenia to the nearest port, with the aim of providing a sea outlet, is very amateurish! In this particular case, the Black Sea is very far from intemational shipping routes. If linking to the nearest body of water was ajudicious option for a landlocked country, then theAustrians should have looked south, to the Adriatic Sea. The fact is, Austrians make use of ports situated much further to the north-Hamburg in Germany and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, on the North Sea. The rationale is to connect with ports on themain intemational shipping

arteries, which have higher frequency of calling carriers, and consequently, freight

AIM, April

1992

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Responding to a reader

l{ormans & Vikings

rates are more comPetitive.

Armenia is the Persian Gulf, where there is much more cargo moving from the Far East to the Middle East than a decade ago, when

Having read "Chunnel Vision" (Profile, February), I would like to point out that the conquest of England 925 years ago was by Normans, not Vikings.

A letter appeared in your February issue by Mr. Stepan Kassabian of Montreal who, inhis agitation regardingthe lack of information about the earthquake relief fund for

the main supplies were from Europe or

RubinaKingwell

America. Besides, the accelerating trend now is the sea-air shipping combination. By the time Armenia has her own national shipping line, when it can make use of the existing Iranian ports on the Gulf, we could operate freighters from Dubai to Yerevan. I believe it is time we leam from others, rather than follow the trial-and-enor methods in finding solutions to problems touching on our national interests.

London, U.K.

Armenia, implicated in the matter His Grace the Bishop Hovnan Derderian, the Primate of the Diocese of Canada. The Diocese has a policy whereby all reports-fi nancial and otherwise-are made public in local Armenian press at a specified time of the year, after being submitted for approval to the Diocesan Delegation Meeting. In fact, the Diocesan Council had its meeting on March 7-8 and the report will be forthcoming very soon.

In my view, the feasible

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According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica,Normans are "members of those Vikings who settled in northern France... and sent out expeditions of conquest and colonization... Within a generation, the Vikings, or Normans, as they came to be ttKarabakh Fevey't

Armine Keushg,erian ecretariat of the Diocese O utremont, Quebe c, Canada

Since Gorbachev has acknowledged the injustice done by Stalin in annexing Karabakh

S

to Azerbaijan, Yeltsin should Regarding the map inset in "Sea of Diplomacy." it would have been more appropriate

to have used the word Iran instead of Azerbaijan for the lower right-hand comer. Granted that the northem province of Iran is called Azerbaijan, but this could easily be confused with the Republic of Azerbaijan. If the intent were to show Nakhichevan, then the map borders should have been expanded for its inclusion. Keep up the good work. SebouhOhanian San

ARftlEt{tAl{ TEt

purchase Karabakh and retum it to Armenia. Russia createdthisproblem, henceis morally bound to correct it. What better way for Yeltsin to

ttt

prove his support for the the New World Order? If Yeltsin is presently short of cash, Armenians and the rest of the world may chip in and grant him a loan. Land is purchased in cash, not in blood. is the

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includi brought them many customers, includingthe of memt Prime Minister of Lebanon andlmembers the royal families of Kuwait, Qatar and 'tarandSaudi fuabia. In 1965, Armes-Sport began to import guns and deal in firearm accessories, accest know gun working with internationally known rroke out in < companies. When fighting broke

family spent Lebanon in 1975, Jack and his family relters; when long periods of time in bomb shelters; he wound one of his four daughters was wounded, move. They and his wife were ready to move. Ar ,os Angeles, traveled on tourist visas to Los chmayr Gun where Jack worked at the Pachmay for shotgut Works, creating customized shotguns ng commute con private collections. But the long (in Be and smog were not to his liking (inBeiruthe had clean air and bird-hunting parties in the his movt nearby hills). So, in 1986 he: moved lonk, MassaI\ family to the fresh air of Seekonk, He ris home. hon chusetts, with a workshop in his Se laughed when he learned that the Seekonk eet. Gun Club was just down the street. yeat Jack It is coincidental that in the l0 years fnited States, i Boyadjian has lived in the United has exploded sporting clay shooting has in popularity across the country. Apimall town in parently, almost every small Massachusetts has a sports club. H. GeneralH. Desert Storm commander General red a sportNorman Schwarzkopf joined firstweeks weeks ing clays match during the first of his retirement from the U.S. Army. Competitors shoots at clay targets thrown in a manner which simulates gamebirds or animals. While skeet shooters stand ready to fire after preparing themselves, the sporting-clay shooter must have the gun stock visible beneath the armpit, duplicating field conditions. The gun is snapped into position, aimed and fired.

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shooters come to Boyadjian to repair

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the rib along the gun's banel and its bead with the head and eye of the shooter. How smoothly the stock fits the shoulder and cheek is significant in the rapid aim required for sporting e x clays. Glossy Circassian walnut and c finely checkered stocks add to the l o o aesthetic quality ofhis guns. E o Boyadjian believes that over half l of all new shotguns need to have the stock adjusted. Having made an art

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in his uncle's gun shop. Avedis Boyadjian had a well-established business in Beirut

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Jack and his brother Atam ran Armes-Sport Company together after 1958,

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AIM, April

1992

out of stockfitting, for which he charges $500-600, it comprises over 75 percent of his business. A custom-made shotgun and fitting easily costs over $3,000. He can even stockfit from a videotape of a customer's shooting style and profile.

Instead

of thinking of retirement, 64-

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forhimself.

I


Betting the Bottom Ruble By TONY HALPIN ife in Yerevan may seem risky enough these days without anyone feeling the need to gamble. But casinos are springing up across the capital, offering punters an opportunity to try their luck.

While many of the "casinos" are little more than slot-machine arcades, a few cater to more sophisticated tastes, with blackjack and roulette tables in a clubby atmosphere. In a basement behind a sturdy iron door, the Van Casino in Derian Street does brisk business with Armenia's burgeoning entrepreneurial class. In an uncomfortably warm, smoke-filled room, eager gamblers sit pensively at blackjack tables or crowd around the roulette wheel, willing their number to come up. Women in silverwaistcoats deal cards, take bets,

and serve drinks from the bar to the overwhelmingly male gathering, as Western disco music floats over the noise of conversation. If it lacks the pizzazz and, style of Las Vegas or

Monte Carlo. the business is no less serious.

AIbert Azarian,

the

In a city where money is tight, the amounts gambled can seem

small-the

house also imposes a limit of 500 rubles per bet, and does not accept wagers in dollars, said Azarian.

The female croupiers, recruited from casinos in Moscow ("the British taught them") and brought to Armenia on one-year contracts, make 300rubles anightplustips-ahigh salary. They workonenight in three, the casino work supplementing their wages from day jobs in the city. "It's not like Las Vegas," conceded Azarian. "If there are good gamblers here, the women lose." There is rarely trouble from bad gamblers either, he says, and not just because ofthe presence ofa fierce-looking bouncer. "Ifsomeone comeshere and loses 2,000rubles andcan'tpay, wejusttell him'OK, we don't want your money, you can leave,"'said Azarian. "He will not come back, because his pride will not allow him."

What about the mob, whose ties to the beginnings of Vegas gambling werechronicled in Warren Beatty's hitmovieBlrgsy? Does this Armenian casino get offers it can't refuse? "We don't have problems with the mafia because, flrst of all, this is a benevolent business, helping families of fedayins. Two people from the military are always here too, just to oversee the activities and make sure there is no problem," said Azarian. "At this point, the mafia would not be interested. This is not a large organization making lots of money." Just then, a tall, obviously wealthy man walks in, dressed in a sheepskin coat, and accompaniedby abodyguard. Azarian stands to greet him warmly, as the sffanger makes his way to the roulette wheel. Minutes later, he leaves, his appetite for gambling satisfied, if unprofitably. He tums out to be the owner of the city's largest shopping store, and a regular visitor. The casino's more typical

Yerevan denizens try their luck 8t the Van Casino; Russian croupiers statl the

casino's 32-year-old manblackiack and roulette tables. ager and co-owner, sits in a dark suit, his tie loosAIM/Bouben Mangasarian ened, looking tired. One of two casinos run by Azarian and his partners, Van is part of a larger business enterprise encompassing shoe and clothing factories. The casino, which opens nightly until 3 a.m., cost 200,000 rubles to establish and began operating in December. Azarian was reluctant to say how much money it was making, but volunteered that business was not as profitable as he had expected. One indication, however, comes from the charitable aspect of the casino which Azartan is keen to stress. Proceeds from the tables provide two orphanages, two kindergartens and one old people's home wift 10,000 rubles a month each, and 25 fami-

are "ordinary people, professionals, engineers, all types," mostly Arcustomers

menian but with the occasional

foreigner, said Azarian. The evidence of tonight's all-male crowd to the contrary, women do come here to gamble at the casino, he said. There are at least three similar full-fledged casinos

in Yerevan.

Azarian and his partners are already talking of opening others in various parts ofthe city. "Armenians love gambling and have been gambling outside Armenia, in Moscow and Lrningrad, for a long time. We were one of the last republics to Iegalize gambling," he said. "It's anovelty. The reason they come here is because they know it's fora

with 1,fi)0 rubles a month, he

lies of deceased fedayins

ifthey lose, theydon'tfeel sobad." I

good cause. Even

said

AIM, April

1992


COVER STORY

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By TONY !{ALPIN and VABTAN OSKANIAN joke doing the rounds in Yerevan has it that the best way to solve Armenia's then economic and political problems is to declare war on the United States lose on the first day and be occupied. If it has all the hallmarks of dark Soviet humor, the thought does illustrate the dilemmas and opportunities facing the fledgling republic. Back in the intemational family of nations aftermorethanT0years, Armeniamust now develop relations with the outside world. Who will be its friends and who merely acquaintances? How farcan it actually choose will its choices be dictated by global economic and political realities? Whatdoes itmeanforArmenia'sforeign anddomestic policy totake part inthe machinery of intemational diplomacy? At bottom, it is the intrusion of geography into the political process. Frozen throughout the Communist era in the grip of Moscow's foreign policy requirements, it was of little consequence to Armenia who its neighbors were. Now, freed from those constraints, it must deal with some of the globe's most skilled practitioners in the giveand-take of diplomacy. At stake is stability and the future prosperity of the nation. The range of challenges is enormous. With its unstable neighbors Georgia and Azerbaijan, the increasingly shaky Commonwealth, the competing visions of Islam embodied in Turkey and Iran, the Arab world, a resurgent but troubled Europe, the United States, and Latin America, Armenia must devise a network of relationships which

those friends and how far

maximize economic and political benefits without producing potential enmities or undesirable dependency. Landlocked Armenia needs stable relations with Georgia and Azerbaijan for reasons of national security and economic growth. Yet, the Transcaucasus is proving the most explosive region of the former Soviet Union, and is rapidly gaining a reputation as an unruly backwater. Potential foreign investment is being scared away and the unrest is diverting scarce national resources into military expenditure. Former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze's return to his native Georgia as chairman of the State Council offers at least some hope that the republic is heading back to political stability. His retum was welcomed by most of Georgia's top politicians (Prime Minister Tengiz Sigua being the notable exception) and by the world community, which holds Shevardnadze in high regard for his role in ending the Cold War. "l will help Georgiajoin the world process," said Shevardnadze, 64, who signaled his immediate intention to concentrate on the country's economic crisis, and hinted that he could attract major Westem investment through his high-level contacts. He added that he had promises of cooperation from Russia's President Boris Yeltsin, but sidestepped the issue of whetherGeorgia will join the Commonwealth. Shevardnadze said he prefened to develop direct agreements with other Commonwealth states. All of which seems good news for Armenia, which regards Georgia as economically vital in its struggle to overcome the Azerbaijani blockade. Supplies from Georgia are still disruptedbecause ofbombattacks on railway bridges, leaving Armeniavirtually isolated from the rest of the Commonwealth. Advisors to President Levon Ter-Petrosyan said Armenia had always harbored suspicions over former Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia's democratic credentials, and the Armenian community in Tbilisi clearly felt under threat. Ter-Petrosyan, in an AIM interview before Shervardnadze's retum, spoke ofGeorgia's "global mistake"in isolating itself, andhoped itwould see the importance ofclose linksto Armeniaas agateway totheMiddleEast. Sincerelations withGeorgia'snew rulers were soured by the Gamsakhurdia affair, the arrival ofShevardnadze as a fresh leader only adds to the prospects for a rapprochement. If the waters for now seem to be calming in It is the intrusion of

Georgia, the storm is only intensifying in

Azerbaijan. The fall of President Ayaz Mutalibov and the contradictory signals emerging from the

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Popular Front over Karabakh have added to the uncertainty in relations with Armenia. The four-year conflict has exacted a crippling economic price for Armenia and Azerbaijan, and now threatens to levy a heavy political burden too. Overall, the Azeri blockade has resulted in a loss of 900 million rubles in industrial production for Armenia, and in the final three months of l99l alone more than one million tons of supplies were halted. "Azerbaijan has failed to collect a single penny from Karabakh in the past four years," said Nikola Schahgaldian, an expert on the republic at the RAND Corporation in Califomia. "Karabakh has cost Azerbaijan's govemment millions of dollars in displaced

AIM, April

1992


refugees and trade since Baku severed ties with the region. "Moreover, political damage to Azerbaijan is far greater than it is to Armenia. You cannot wage war while signing a lot of human rights and commercial agreements with the West. You must have intemal stability to have any hope offoreign investrnent." Khojaly is a goodexampleofthe damage beingdoneto Armenia's own reputation. The intemational perception developing is that both

sides are equally to blame for the conflict and that the world community should bang heads together for a compromise. Right or wrong, this view of the issue has consequences for ttre intemational image of Armenia and its scope for diplomatic action. But the outrage which exploded in Baku after the fall of Khojaly paradoxically offered fresh hope for a negotiated settlement. For months it had been clear that Karabakh had become an issue of competitive nationalism between Mutalibov and his opponents in the Popular Front. With Mutalibov defeated, the Front no longer had an incentive to talk toughest on the dispute. This immediately became apparent. Azerbaijan's new interim president, Yagub Mamedov, sounded a conciliatory note in his frst public statement, calling for increased diplomatic efforts to begin talks. "Mutalibov and Ter-Petrosyan probably did not get on well together," he told Reuter. "Maybe with me things will tum out better. The Armenians may think it is possible to come to an agreement.', But a few days later Azerbaijani Prime Minister Hasan Hasanov wamed there was only a 50-percent chance of avoiding war with Armenia. "This depends on how much world public opinion realizes that the Armenian state terrorist army must immediately leave the occupied territory of Azerbaijan," he said. The deepening military confrontation over Karabakh, threatening now to spill over the border into Armenia proper, presents the greatest challenge to Armenian diplomacy. A solution is integral to the development of fruitful relations with the major regional powers of Turkey and Iran. One immediate effect of Armenia's emergence onto the world

Security and Cooperation in Europe is debating proposals to establish ceasefire monitors and conidors for humanitarian aid; and Karabakh was the main item at the inaugural meeting of the North Atlantic CooperationCouncil, whichbrings NATO members andtheirformer Warsaw Pact adversaries around the same table. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are members of all three bodies. In addition, Iran, Turkey, France, Russia and Britain have all eitherproposed peace talks orsent observers to the region. United States President George Bush called for an immediate ceasefire in March, apparcntly after a telephone appeal from Turkish Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel to use his personal diplomacy to end the bloodshed. The dispute is clearly making both Iran andTurkey anxious. But

it

is also having the effect of drawing Armenia in more closely to its geographical neighbors, because the crisis has exposed the limitations of the Commonwealth for all to see.

ntilrecently, Russiawas viewedby almosteverybody as the most likely peacemaker. Galina Starovoitova, Russian President Yeltsin's chief advisor on national and ethnic issues, called Karabakh a "litrnus test" for the Commonwealth, waming: "If it fails to stop the bloodshed in the region, its members

will leave.

"My forecast,"

she continued, "is that the future of the Commonwealth depends on the Transcaucasus," Though many in the former Soviet Union had early hopes for the Commonwealth as a structure for cooperation, few now see any future for it. An ongoing battle of wills between the two largest members, Russia and Ukraine, has effectively paralyzed the organization, though a breakthrough was achieved in March with agreement on the division of the Soviet Union's foreign debt. But the outlook

remainsgloomy. "Ithinkthe Commonwealthprobably will not survive forthe long term and it's beginning to lookmore andmore that itwon'tsurvivefor the shortrun," said Eugene lwanciw, executive director of the Ukrainian National Association in Washington, D.C. "Ukraine perceives a danger that if Russia is considered the seniorpartner, which it is intheWest, especially inthe United States,

we will see in a very short order the emergence of a new Russian empire." A seniorpresidential advisor in Armenia acknowledged that the Commonwealth was unlikely to survive, buthe believed attempts would continue among individual republics to find grounds forcommon action. There were also early indications from the Popular Front that it would seek to lead Azerbaijan out of the organization. If, as seems likely, the Commonwealth breaks up, will Armenia have to choose between the Ukraine and Russia? Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian thinks not. "Armenia's history is a very good guide on how not to ally oneself with one camp or another. Armenia will be conducting an independentforeignpolicy and will haveequal Armenia'lbalancing act-lran's Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Velayati, sâ&#x201A;Źen on t*s vlsit to relations withcounries oftheEastandWest. Yerevan. Turkey'sPresident Turgul Ozal, and Russian leader Boils Veltsin ale all jockeying lnthatconnection, we'll be cultivating good lor position in the Caucasus. relations both with the Ukraine and Russia." This is only sensible. But Russia, constage has been a rapid growth in the number andquality of mediation sumed by the immensity of its economic crisis, seems increasingly efforts, bearing out to some degree Ter-Petrosyan's risky strategy of tempted to wash its hands of the Caucasus. Vice President Alexander renouncing territorial claims in favor of pursuing intemational supRutskoi even proposed complete withdrawal of the Commonwealth port for the human rights of Karabakh residents. army from theregion, angeredbythe growingdeathtoll amongtroops A bewildering array of peace missions is now underway. United caught in the crossfire. Nations envoy Cyrus Vance visited the region; the Conference on "There is sovereign Azerbaijan, sovereign Armenia, sovereign

AIM,April1992


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Georgia. L,et them work it out among themselves," said Rutskoi. The last former Soviet ffoops have pulled out of Karabakh, and senior commanders also ordered soldiers to withdraw urgently from the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. If followed ttrough in its entirety, an army withdrawal would reverse two centuries of Russian expansion in the region. Graham Fuller, a Middle East specialist at RAND, said Armenia was now having to face the reality that Russia could no longer be its "protector," a role in which it had anyway proved unreliable and dishonest. "This requires Armenian re-orientation towards the realities of living where it lives. Any Armenian policy would definitely wish to have as good relations as possible with all its neighbors and not play one off against the other. That would limit its options," said Fuller. Certainly, Armenia has made clear that it wants to normalize relations quickly with Turkey and Iran, to tie rhe republic into the world economy. Hovannisian led a delegation to Iran in February which included the ministers of industry, transport, health, and rade. An agreed protocol provided for the speedy opening ofembassies in Yerevan and Tehran, export of Iranian gas to Armenia, cooperation in building an oil refinery, joint investments, and the transit of Iranian goods through Armenia. A month later, Energy MinisterSebouh Tashjian was in Tehran ro seek immediate commencement of a deal to deliver 550,000 tons of fuel oil a year to power-starved Armenia. In retum, Armenia was offering to supply goods such as shoes and clothing, or to extend its electricity supply grid into Iran, said Tashjian. "It will come off. We believe Iran is acting in good faith," he said. "I honestly see us working together with Iran in a short time period." Iran, bracing for possible future conflict with Azerbaijan over its own large Azeri population, is interested in friendly ties with Armenia as part of its efforts to oppose Turkish influence in the region. Armenia also offers stable access for Iranian goods to be sent north to the Black Sea through Georgia and to Russia. elations with Turkey are developing more cautiously and are more complicated. So far, neither Ter-Petrosyan nor Hovannisian have visited Ankara or met with the Turkish leadership. But the grounds have been laid for a working relationship which sets aside the issues of the Armenian Genocide and claims to the Westem Armenian lands. Hovannisian has repeatedly made clear that, while Armenia can not forget the Genocide and hopes that Turkey will reassess its past, future relations ought to be conducted on the basis ofmutual respect. "Armenia is normalizing its relations with its neighbors without any political preconditions, but if Turkey starts discussing anything from the past in a political context, then we will open up the entire dossier and discuss the entire complex of issues that concem our two countries," he said. Hovannisian said Armenia "absolutely" would open an embassy in Turkey, just as it intended with all its neighbors. Mutual recognition between states implies arecognition of existing borders, a subject charged with emotion in the case of Armenia and Turkey. Here, too, though no formal statement has emerged, Armenia has adopted an attitude of realpolitik. "Itwas alargepsychological stepto saythattheWestemArmenian territories would not be on our agenda," said one presidential advisor, who asked not to be identified. "It was a risk, but people started to realize that we need to have a republic and need to have national

security." The effort to normalize relations is producing some results. A bordercrossing at Markara opened in March, providing the frst direct passage since 1920 for trade and tourism between Armenia and Turkey. Armenian-American and Turkish businessmen have also been exploring the idea of constructing a port on the Black Sea coast at Trabzon, which wouldgive landlocked Armenia access to global sea routes and Turkey the chance to develop trade links east to the Central Asian republics.

AIM, April

1992


But the project's future is in doubt because of the climate of instability generated by the Karabakh crisis. Ishak Alaton, whose Turkish company wascentral to the plan, toldAIM thathis board had decided to pull out under pressure from the public and govemment. "I was accused of being anArmenian sympathizer, even aspy,"he said, adding that 14 articles had appeared in Turkish newspapers on a single day, condemning the proposal.'"This warwith theAzerbaijanis is not helping much."

Turkey's intemal political divisions only complicate Armenian efforts to develop stable relations. Turkish President Turgut Ozal's call to "scare the Armenians a liule" on Karabakh by exerting pressure on aid shipments to Armenia through Turkey, seemed more an attemptto scorepoints overhis rival, PrimeMinister Demirel, than a serious policy proposal. But nationalist pressure on the govemment to side with Azerbaijan is apotential inhibitortowardanything butthe most indifferent of relations. Demirel himself has made every effort to appear neutral in the conflict, fearing that open Turkish support for Azerbaijan would drive the West intothe arms of Armenia. This would shatterTurkey's drive to become the linchpin for American and European policy. At the same time, Demirel is waming the West not to side with Armenia. He toldThe NewYorkTimes:'ltshouldnottum out to be a Christian-Muslim war and everybody should be careful." Foreign Minister Hikmet Cetin has taken a more aggressive stance, even as he is proposing peace talks, asserting that Karabakh's place within Azerbaijan was not in doubt. The precedent set by any transfer of territory is, so far at least, too uncomfortable for Turkey to accept. The West, particularly the United States, seems inclined to allow Turkey to take the diplomatic lead in the region. President Bush described itas "amodel to others, especially thosenewly independent republics of Central Asia." With so much to gain intemationally, Turkey has every incentive to establish harmonious relations with Armenia rather than put its new prestige at risk. Armenia is the sole connecting point between Turkey and the Islamic republics in Cenral Asia. This requires Turkey to seek good relations quickly, in order to compete more effectively against Iran for influence in the region. Both Bush and Secretary of State James Baker have been explicit in wanting pro-Westem, secular Turkey to win out over lran's Islamic fundamentalism in the contest forhearts and minds in Central Asia. '"Ihe U.S. is concemed in a number of ways about some of the activities of the govemment of Iran," Baker said during his visit to

America through the Diaspora, which will do much to ensure relations remain warm, Armenia is-in cold diplomatic terms-a small country in a volatile region with which America historically has had unhappy experiences. Armenia's influence depends, then, on the degree to which it is seen as key in maintaining stability in the region. Nor is it in the republic's interest to line up on one side or the other in the srategy game being played by the big powers. Though characterized as in intense competition, both han and

Turkey are members with Pakistan of the Economic Cooperation Organization, a club which has slumbered quietly for 27 years but burst intonew life with its first summitinTehran in February. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have been admitted to membership of the club, which Iran has said it would like to see develop into an Islamic common market. Turkey's Ozal said ECO members wanted to expand cooperation in matters of energy, telecommunications, agriculture, ffansport, banking, insurance and urban development. With is efforts to win entry into the Common Market remaining frustrated, Turkey may be tempted to spend more time with the Muslim bloc as afallback strategy. orArmenia, an evolving tradebloc on itsdoorstep will orient its economic ties more closely to the Middle East. It is not impossible to conceive of the republic becoming a member of ECO, enhancing Armenia's status as a Christian nation at ease in the Islamic world. It could also carve a role as an honest broker in the region, balancing competing political interests, while establishing itselfas the natural crossroads fortrade and investment. Certainly, Armenia's foreignpolicy inthe Middle East steppedup a gear last month, with visits by Hovannisian to four countrieskbanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt-in the space of a week to establish relations. The republic is well-placed to capitalize on the respect in which the long-established Armenian communities are held in the countries ofthe region. "Armenia could become a stabilizing factor in the Middle East. By cultivating ties with states in conflict with each other, it may play a useful diplomatic role," said State Minister Grigor Areshian. The republic's links to Europe are well established through the CSCE, the NACC, and in the European Community through its ties with France. In the short term at least, Armenia is unlikely to get much closer. Geographically isolated from the EC, it is hard to see how a convincing case could be made forputting Armenia ahead of eastem Europe and Scandinavia for membership, while the experience of Yugoslavia will make the EC wary of venturing into volatile regions. Any longterm Armenian ambition for inclusion in the Community requires the development of close economic and political ties with Georgia. Russia's vision of a future association with the EC

through the concept of a "Common European Home" makes it imperative for Armenia to retain ties to the north through Georgia,

Ter-Petrosyan with U.S. Secretary ol State Baker in Yerevan

Azerbaijan in February. Soon after, he ditched U.S. insistence on respect for human rights and extended full diplomatic recognition to Azerbaijan, citing "assurances" he had been given by Mutalibov.

"The political situation necessitated that kind of move by the United States to prevent Azerbaijani society from going in adirection against U.S. interests," said RAND's Schahgaldian. "Politically, it doesn't make sense for the United States to alienate, from day one, a newly bom country before they've even entered a dialogue." At any rate, Armenia lost whatever geopolitical advantage it had when the United States opened relations with Azerbaijan. It was clear, too, that foreign policy requirements override all other considerations for the United States in the region. Despite its many complex ties to

l6

which offers access to the Black Sea and land routes into Europe. A close relationship with Georgia would also strengthen Armenia's negotiating position with Iran and particularly with Turkey, as well as enhance its image in Europe as a focal point for contact with the Muslim world. For its part, Russia would seek to secure at least a passage through the fast-rising southem fortress, which economic and political relations with Armenia would provide. Traditional affinities with the United States will help to secure Armenia's security, since American policy goals in Central Asia require Turkey to do nothing which would damage its image as a reliable democratic partner forthe West. Relations between Armenia andTurkey would then have astableframework in which todevelop. That leaves Iran and the Middle East. A truly independent Armenian policy which places it as a gateway between the West and the evolving Muslim bloc could reap big dividends. A history of coexistence with Islamic states makes it ideally suited to the task, at a time when there is an urgent need for just such a conduit. Economics and politics make the role attractive for Armenia; geography makes it almost impossible to resist.

AIM, April

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Presiding Under Pressure Amrenia's Prcsiclent Lel'un Ter-Petrosyan wus interviewccl in Yercvan aftcr his rctum fiorn a meeting of the Worlcl Econonric Council in Davos. Switzcrlancl. in February.

lnterview by TONY HALPIN AIM: How would you assess the economic and political situation in Armenia? TER.PETROSYAN:

I uoulcl -sur llrc lirllou ing uboul the politicrrl sitLtation. Arrucltia participrrtcd successlirllr in thc posilirc pn'Le\\

tlking plucc in thc lornrcr I..S.S.R. rinrl guincd inclepcndencc irt u'ilh the Srrr icl lutv on sectssiotl lirr lcpublics. This pclcclirl anrl *e sul'lcrcd no viclittts. Ito losse s.

ruccordancc nrcthocl ri'lLs

Annenia obtlrined an irrlgc * hich t lts in uccortlltncc t ith intcr national lcgitirnircr.lar.i'ancl rlenrocntcr. I think that this irrrgc is thc rrrost irnportarrt pol rl ical lssct lirr rrs. \\'c corr: iilcr it to hc so inrportunt thll ri c rlrL- not !()in! l() ln()\'e lrr lrv tiortt lhis rlrrccliorr rrt tltc litlurc. In our firrcign policv r.vc huvc rrr'r verv scrioLts problcrrs lirr tltc tirrrc bcing. Wc huvc lr proccss ol uctivc policr. directctl nou lo thr' *cst irnrl north. Wc irr'a lrit Iltc ri ith our ltolicr torvurrl tht cl\tL'nr countrics. In tht tonring nronlhs. uc urc goirrg to l'ill this uup;tntl tsllhli:h nrultilltcllrl lclutiorts riitlr lrll possihlc l)ilrtncls.,\hout 8() corrrrlric: hltvc rer'ogrtizt'c[ Atrtrcniit lts an ittrlcpcnt]cnt \11r1. luttl ua havc cstlrblishctl tliplonurtic rclutiorrs u rth atroul I5 ol thcnr. Asllrrlrsottrinletnul ritttatiortistonctntcil.\\e clrt\l\ llrlrl pto;llc lurc lcclirrs conlrticrrl iir the urlhoritics ol thc Republic ol ,,\rrrrcrriu. 'I'hc opposilion (l()c\ n()l llrvc consirlcnrblc inl'lLrcrtc on tlte .\r'rrcrrrart pctrlrlt. beclrLr:t it lrels nol l'nrtn lr posilion ol r'on:lttttlire tiot.k irut ltrrtn tltc posiliolt ttl tlcsttttcliotr. So 11111" lt: thc oPlto-ritiott litil: ltr :rcc;uirc ir c()n\lnlcti\e Jro.ilion. tl rr ill nLrt hrrr.' inllttcncc ott lltc Icoplc.

Thcre lLrc consirlcnrblc .ociltl poittt: Iirr the o||ositi1r1l l1r 111 1 .11. I ilst ltnrl lirlcrttost is llre r'ollrrp.c ol orrr r'tonrrl)lr lrlrl llir tlcterionrtl()n ol'thc socill contlitions iil thr 11g1r1)lr'. Il thcr rtttcer'tlctl in it.itts this lirrthcirl)ufl)osc:. tlren llr.'r L-rtrltl hlirf \r)nra inllurn(dovcrll)e peoplc.

I think I llrr c ulrcrrtlr ,lri. llt rl ott lltr' tr'Jrttlrlt. s irrtcrrlrl prol"rlcrrrs. []irst untl lirrcnrosl. rvc ilLr,' to hltll I lte collapsc ol llr.' e t'ononr\ rrrttl. in lltc' tnrrrsitiort pcriorl

"lf we fail,to canry out these measureE then no party

tltt rnttrkcl rcllrlions. w'c could save us." :hoLtltl ltrov itlc \()rlr(' \()ciill sllt'lr 1o :ltlislr tlrc hasic ncctis ol thc |coPle. Il ric rkrn t rLrtccctl irr llrrs lusk. thcn I llrink ric ri ill lose tonlirlcrtr'r' lliltong tlrc pctlplt. ol ..\r'rrcrtilt. Bul I :t|orr-rlr Iropc tltlrt u t- u oultl ntlnrrLlc 1o g111ra u iih the :itLurlion. Wc lltvc a u tde nttt!ing lutrl scrioLts Jlr()rriul ol tncltsttte s lrntl rr e n lrc \urc lltirt \\c r'iln tlrn'r i1 orrt. l;irsl. rt c tIlttsl corttr()l tltc ccort0rttic 1o

!l

'\l\1. r\pril

1992

lr


situation, to control and improve the financial situation in the republic. We don't control the financial system of the Republic of Armenia, the issue of the ruble is underthe powerof the Russian bank. The first---fld perhaps most importanttaskforus, therefore, isto createourownfinancial system, to guard over the issue of rubles, and o control inflation. We are engaged in very serious talks with the Intemational Monetary Fund. Experts from this organization are constantly working with the goventment of Armenia and we strongly hope trat, with theirhelp, wecan find amodel tocontrol the financial situation. Second are measures connected with the privatization program. Armenia is in first place among the republics of the former U.S.S.R. as far as this question is concemed. It is the only republic where land privatization has been fulfilled, and in just one year this has already produced results. This year, we plan to privatize areas related to agriculture. The first is connected with the manufacturing of agricultural goods, second with frade, third the service sphere, construction and building

Iran were reserved in their relations with us. All this played a role in our not being well-prepared for winter. As far as the second part of your question is ooncerned, to a certain extent it depends on outside factors. In ttre other republics, economic reforms are delayed. We would be very happy if these reforms took place in a synchronized way; unfortunately, that is not happening. Therefore, we should not wait for the other republics to act but ought to cary out our own neforms. Everything depends on how we solve our energy problems and we sfongly hope that our relations with Turkey and Iran will lighten this burden. Besides, we have very serious plans to restart the nuclear power plant. This must occur

in keeping with the findings of intemational

is no conflact between Armenia

"There

experts and under intemational supervision.

and Azerbaiian. There

reopcntedzamof

All this we intend to carry out this year. To stabilize the economic situation, we consider it very important to cooperate with countries such as Iran and Turkey, and to transit through them to the outside world. tn this way, Armenia is sure to overcome its unilateral dependence on the north. works, and finally light industry.

This will also have political

But, as you probably know, according to the decision of the Armenian Parliament, the nuclear power plant can open only ifthis is approved in a referendum. We must respect this law and, after we get safety guarantees from intemational experts, the question will be put to areferendum.

Thefighting in Karabakhseemsto be intensifying. Wherc do you believe a solution liee?

lic.

is a conflict between

Azerbaijan and its own civilians, those civilians

First of all, the following must be taken into consideration. The issue of Karabakh was considered to be the intemal affair of the U.S.S.R. but, afterthe secession of Azerbaijan and Armenia and the independence by these republics, it has become an intemational issue. This question must be raised in the context of intemational laws. It must be discussed in keeping with the provisions of the constitutions of intemational organizations, of which both Azerbaijan and Armenia are members.

I

mean the CSCE and the

UnitedNations. There is a misunderstanding in the world community----created and supported by the republic of Azerbaijan-which presents the issue of Karabakh as a quarrel between Armenia and

The position of the people at present is very difficult. Ought you to have done more to prepare for this winter, and will these measunes be sufficient to ayoid a similar situation next yeaf

Azerbaijan. I absolutely reject this idea: There is no con-

Well, perhaps wemissed somethingduringour preparations for winter. Perhaps we failed to foresee this long-term blockade imposed by the republic of Azerbaijan since November 4, and perhaps we should have taken that into account and stockpiled some fuel and oil products.

flict between ArmeniaandAzerbaijan. There is a conflict between Azerbaijan and its own civilians, those civilians who live in Karabakh and who are Armenian by origin. Azerbaijan tries to solve the issue of Karabakh from a position of force and to urge the Armenian population of

Wemustbequickertobuildagas pipelinefrom Georgia. Maybe we should have been more active in our relations with Turkey and Iran. ButI must stress thatnoteverything wasdepen-

tte who live in Karabakh U.S.S.R.,andeconomictieswererupturedquickly. and afe Armenian by dent on us. Events developed so ruliaty io

l8

Intemational experts are to come to Armenia in the nearfuture and they have to give me three kinds of guarantees. First, the time when the power plant can be restrrted; second, on the expense, and third on guarantees of security.

Only then will our govemment make a final

consequences.

Besides, when the Union still existed, Turkey

to

decision.

Armenia would be able to maneuverand its future relations with the south would also guarantee the development of its relations with the north. Even more importantly, the blockade imposed by the neighboring republic would not play such a great role in the economic life of Armenia, and this would improve the general situation in the repub-

The third measure for the betterment of the economy of Armenia is obtaining outside partners for our economic development. We strongly hope to get govemmental help from the outside world, through credits. We also hope that private capital will be invested in the Republic of Armenia-I mean through Diaspora activities and humanitarian help coming in.

ls that a definite commitment now,

and Origin.,t

AIM, April

AIM/Photos

1992

Karabakh to abandon their motherland, to create such conditions as to gradually make people

leave. This is the essence of the question, and the intemational organizations, guided by their own constitutions, must defend the rights of Arme-


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nians in Karabakh. First of all, they must provide security for the Armenianpopulation in Karabakh, andsecond, they mustprovide for economic activities in that region. Only after that does it become possible to start negotiations between Azerbaijan and Karabakh and, if necessary, Armenia can also participate in these negotiations. Weare ready fornegotiations, we areready forcompromise. Until now, Azerbaijan has not expressed any desire to either negotiate or compromise. If the Azerbaijani authorities could assure the security of the Armenian population in Karabakh and normal economic functioning of the region, and also provide it with autonomy, I think the question would be solved. For the time being, that would be acceptable for Armeniaand thepopulation ofKarabakh. ButI am surethat itcan'tbe solved and carried out without the presence of intemational observers in Karabakh. We strongly hoped that the Commonwealth would find ways to improve the situation in Karabakh, but unfortunately the Commonwealth has not yet created such mechanisms.

How badly have relations with Georgia been dam-

aged by the Gamsakhurdia allair?

I don't think Gamsakhurdia's presence in Armenia has damaged ourrelations with Georgiaat all, because before hecame ourrelations were no better than they were after. I can explain. We are very much interested in establishing friendly and amicable relations with our neighbor, Georgia. That comes from the traditionally amiable relations between our two countries, and also from the fact that, in this region, Armenia and Georgia ought to be natural allies. Besides, Georgia can play a great role for Armenia as a road to the outer world. Unfortunately, the Georgian authorities would not acknowledge this necessity and would not assess conectly the importance of Georgian-Armenian relations. A narrow-minded interest prevailed on the global problems. I think this was a temporary phenomenon, and sooner or later Georgia must realize the necessity of relations with Armenia, and understand the importance of Armenia for Georgia, taking into consideration Armenia's geographical position as an outlet to Iran and the Middle East in general, and also thecapacities ofourDiaspora from which Georgia could benefit.

For now, I am confident that Georgian authorities will soon realize the necessity of establishing relations. I can't say that Georgia has a specific attitude toward Armenia, I think it was just a global mistake of the Georgian govemment which brought them to isolate themselves.

What of your own position? Essentially, you are a president without a party, yet the success of the Armenian National Movement has demolished the traditional parties. Do you sense a danger for a healthy democracy in Armenia? The ANM is not a party but a very strong political force-it has no rival in political life. I am sure the ANM will not lose its force and will not give up this position if we are able to fulfill all the economic measures I enumerated in the first part of our conversation. In this case, the Armenian people would have greater confidence in the ANM. If we fail to carry out these measures, then no party could save

Does that mean you president?

will seek a second term as

It would depend on whether I feel it is really necessary for my people, and if I felt that I could serve my people in the proper way. In that case, I would. But if I see there is abetterand more serious political force thatcan govem in a better way, I would resign and give authority to this new force.

I

AIM, April 1992


The Blue Helmets Membership Has Its Privileges

By VIKEN BEBBEBIAN day after Armenia joined the United Nations, the heady hurrahs, singing and flag-waving gave way to talks of a possible UN role in the region amid stark reports of heavy fighting in Nagomo-Karabakh. With the fighting threatening to turn into a regional conflagration, there are clear indications by UN officials that the Karabakh dispute deserves intemational mediation. Seven of the l8 speeches welcoming the nine new members to the organization last month were punctuated by references to the ongoing conflict and the need for a political settlement. During that General Assembly meeting, United States Ambassador to the UN,Thomas Pickering, urged Azerbaijan and Armenia to resolve the Karabakh dispute in cooperation with Russia, and called on all parties to observe last February's cease-fire conditions. Meanwhile, at the request of the Security Council, UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali sent the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe a message that the UN views the escalating violence in the region as critical. UN membership offers both prizes and pitfalls for Armenia and

Azerbaijan. The two have already begun to vie for intemational support on Karabakh through the organization. Azerbaijan moved quickly to make use of its newly eamed member status. A plan for a possible UN role in the dispute was offered by Azeri Foreign Minister Hussein Sadykov at a March 4 UN press conference, two days following the republic's membership. A formal request from Azerbaijan's government to place the Karabakh conflict before the Security Council appears likely, including a role for UN peacekeepers or military observers, Sadykov told reporters.

While Acting President Yakub Mamedov firmly opposes the idea

of Blue Helmet forces in Azerbaijan, Sadykov is the first highranking Azeri official who agreed in principle on the need to involve UN troops. His statement came a day before hesident Mutalibov's resignation. Armenia has made no official move for intervention, although

Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian has said such a request is imminent. "That is an initiative supponed by [Russian] President Boris Yeltsin, and I think you will be seeing Armenian support of peace-keeping forces in the region," he said. "We will be talking to the Security Council on that." Sadykov used his UN press conference to land an-

other diplomatic coup.

While

outlining

Azerbaijan'swillingnesstE

..1

thic

troops along the AzerbaijanArmenia border, he invited theWestem press to report

on "heinous crimes" carried out by Armenian militants. He cited a New YorkTimes article on the brutal killing of unarmed Azeris in Khojaly, a strategic village north of Stepanakert. Alexander Arzoumanian, who heads Armenia's UN delegation, said he would support a formal request by Azerbaijan for a Security

AIM, April 1992


Council debate and action on Karabakh, if UN peacekeeping forces were deployed not only along the Armenia-Azerbaijan border, as advocated by Baku, but around the enclave itself, where most of the fighting now takes place. A formal request for UN intervention should come from the govemments ol Azerbaijan end Karabakh, with Armenia possibly applying on behalf of the embattled enclave, since the republic has officially renounced territorial claims on the region, he said. But the warring parties must first agree on a truce and on an area marked out for intemational observation. More recently, UN special envoy Cyrus Vance toured the two republics and Karabakh on a fact-finding mission. The former Secretary of State nailed down a cease-fire accord in Yugoslavia which proved more durable than a dozen earlier attempts to stop fighting between the warring Serbs and Croats.

Will this one prove more difficult? "I was in Yugoslavia, but this is much more chaotic," said a Vance aide. "This is the Wild West." Amid all of this diplomatic aerobics, the UN remains financially strapped, which is enough of a reason to prevent it from rushing into the region. The organization expects to spend an estimated $2 billion

for just one year on a 22,000-member force in Cambodia, and more than $600 million on 14,000 troops in Yugoslavia. The UN already has peacekeeping forces in theWestem Saharaand Lebanon. And the Security Council was bound by othercommitments until mid-March, including lraq's refusal to comply with UN resolutions to dismantle its war-making machinery. Although the U.S. Administration is seeking an additional $8 l0 million for peacekeeping troops in 1992-1993, above the $107 million appropriated this year, chances are Congress will resist granting large amounts of money to sustain UN operations. At issue is an agreement that makes the United States responsible for 30 percent ofthe costs ofpeacekeeping operations, roughly the same as all ofthe European nations, and two-and-ahalf times more than Japan. Still, Arzoumanian believes that UN membershipcould facilitate a favorable resolution to the Karabakh conflict, even if peacekeeping troops are not deployed. "During the ceremony, representatives of various regional groups touched on the problem of Karabakh," he said. "It's not important what was said. What's important is that Karabakh is no longeran intemal Azerbaijani issue. The areanow interests the whole

I

The Nuts and Bolts of the UN . UN membership grew to 175 countries with nine new states joining its ranks on March 2,t992.

.

None of the missions or bureaus which staff UN delegates are located insidethe United Nations. . The Lithuanian Permanent Mission staffs five officials compared to Turkey's 25, Czechoslovakia's nine, Cape Verde's six and

Liechtenstein's one. . Each delegation is allowed four seats in the General Assembly hall. . The UN budget for 1992 stands at roughly

$l.l billion. . UN affiliates such as UNICEF

and

UNESCO have separate sources of funding. . The United States shouiders 25 percent of the organization's costs, compared to the then-

Soviet Union's 10 percent, Germany's 8.95, Brazil's 1.59, China's .77 and Togo's .01 per-

AFFILIATE ORGAI{IZATIO}IS . UN affiliates include the Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),

the Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development hogram (UNDP) and the Intemational Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

UNESGO

. UNESC0 promotes literacy

intergovemmental geologicalprograms. Italso preserves historic sites and monuments such as Tanzania's Kilimanjaro National Park and Peru's Incan reserve of Machu Picchu. . UNESCO's annual budgetfor 1992-1993

is roughly $440 million, based on contributions which reflect a member country's national income.

.

The United States withdrew from

UNESCO in 1984.

cent.

. Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined the UN last fatl and are negotiating with the Gen-

eral Assembly's Budget and Finance Comrnittee to reach a favorable exchange rate on the ruble before they pay membership dues in hard

currency. . The Baltics are pushing tbr a $ 1.6-to-one ruble exchange rate instead of the 60 cents U N evaluation. The UN Conrmittee on Contributions will make a recommendation on the matter to the General Assembly in June. the Baltics secure their desired cxchange rate, Lithuania would contribute .04 percent of the UN budget or $400,00O a year, probabty slightly more than Armenia. . Roughly 85 counlries contribute .01 per-

. Il

cent or roughly $100,000 each to the UN budget-the lowest allowable rate.

.

Contributions are based on a member country's national income over a period of years, in addition to other economic and demo-

graphic criteria.

22

and

UNICEF

. UNICEF is involved

in child health and welfare assi\lance and ha: ongoing projects in more than 120 countries. . A delegation reccntly retumed irom the Baltics with rcports on the region's health conditions. The Central Asian states and Armenia, both with high infant mortality ratcs. are likely to quality lbr UNICEF assistance. . Its annual budget for l99l was St{10 million, an $ I I rnillion drop lrom 1990. . Voluntary pledges lioni donor countries comprise UN ICEF's budget.

. Lithuania

tional Third World recipient countries, many of which are concemed that existing projects

will

be diverted to aid Eastem Europe or the

former Soviet Union. Scandinavian donor countries formally announced that they will not diven existing aid away from traditional recipients. . Recipient status

granted to members by

elected through the General Assembly. . Its resources are allocated to geographically disadvantaged or landlocked countries on the basis of need, defined by population fi gures and Gross National Producl. The UN DP budget in 1990 was $1.3 billion, nearly onethird of which went to Africa. Sweden and Denmark togethercontributed $185 million to the agency or $77.5 million more than the United States. . Voluntary pledges from member countrics conrprise UNDP's budget.

IAEA . The Austria-based IAEA

provides experts and training to promote peaceful use of nuclear energy in agriculture, industry and medicine, and to discourage member countries fiom using nuclear technology for military use. . IAEA has a staff ol' roughly 2,400. Member states invite IAEA technicians to assess the safety of their nuclear reactors. . Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined the agency last fall.

U1{DP

-lompiled

expects to receive roughly $t

million from UNDP-the world's largest multilateral developmentassistanceagency. UNDP and its donor countries have already set up a Baltic trustfundto serveas afunnel forexisting

is

UNDP's 48-member governing council,

by Viken Berberian

Sources: Algimantas Gureckas and

Suziedelis

Darius

at the Lithuanian Mission;

UN

spokesperson Mathew Nerzig; Deputy Direc'-

technical aid to the infant democracies.

tor of UNICEF'r program Junding Denis

Members who recently joined the UN have begun to compete for funds with tradi-

Mot gun:

'

AIM, April 1992

Caillaux; UNDP spokesperson Hyacinth

l99l

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OneMan and His Missions By VIKEN BERBERIAN

I I ! -

n the

Hobbesian chaos of Manhattan where men are mean, pushy

and loud, he resembles an unassuming pedestrian. But Alexander ,t.rourn*ian. who is something of imugger's magnet, actually

heads Armenia's United Nations Mission. Beside Manhattan's mayhem-its crack dealers and cabsArzoumanian is studying another maze with a different set of rules. Instead of junkies, he faces seasoned UN diplomats. Instead of cabbies, he has a handful of agencies to hop around. And in place of beggars, he listens to local residents offering services and advice. Some have questioned Arzoumanian's agility. Can he jostle effectively inside the UN's bureaucratic maze, they ask, or make himself heard over its diplomatic din? Others have criticized his lack

of charisma. Can he tweak a nerve or stir a crowd? The quiet brickbrat hurled at the official is nothing new. He has been charg6 d'affaires at the republic's interim embassy in Washington formonths. Nowhejuggles twoposts and shuttles from Washington to New York. It's a hectic life that the official leads. While he no longer waits in bread lines, New York's rush-hour tratfic and protean logic can be equally daunting. "I don't know how long this will last," he said. "I only recently found out that I was going to be temporary UN representative. My workload has increased tenfold. A rypical day begins at nine and often ends at

midnight."

The ambassador spends a good part of his day mired in logistical, funding and staffing matters. Part of his task includes keeping Armenia's Foreign Ministry and President abreast of political events. Arzoumanian also gauges media coverage and public opinion. He logs the meetings he attends and the people he befriends. A native of Yerevan, Arzoumanian is trying hard to adapt. He smokes Dunhills and loves sushi. William Faulknerhas long been one of his favorites. He has descended into Manhattan's subway system once. He's seen two Broadwaymusicals, visited the Met, and plans to take a driving test in war-tom lvenx-h6rns to bodegas, dead bodies and drugs. New York is a tough city from within the confines of a church-

provisional headquarters

of

Armenia's UN Mission. Inside,

Arzoumanian sits behind a desk covered with papers. A fax machine spits out information sporadically. The phone rings now and then, and, occasionally. unexpected guests tralpse ln. Some attribute

Arzoumanian's lack of poshrewdness to personal history. A mathemati-

litical

cian by training, Arzoumanian, 32, entered the forbidden world of dissidents during his student years at Moscow's Patrice Lumumba University. Together with like-minded students, he read and spread the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. He retumed to Armenia in 1982 and specialized in math at the Yerevan State University. He then worked at a generic Soviet

AIM, April 1992


agency-the city council's automated systems research institute. He became a samizdat activist in 1987, contributing regularly to the Moscow-base d Express Chrorr'ca from Yerevan. Two years later, he was sucked into the democratic opposition, spearheading the Armenian National Movement's information center. The former Soviet dissident was appointed to represent Armenia in America last September, before the republic officially broke free of Moscow's grip. He is divorced and has a five-year-old daughter in Yerevan. His background, acquaintances say, has obvious advantages. Far from being a seasoned politician, he exudes honesty and respect. When you look at him, you think man is inherently good. On pragmatism and subtlety, Arzoumanian scores high; on coolness and composure, he rates above average; on his command of English, his performance rates low, and on his keenness to venture outside his bureau, he barely passes.

Two days with the ambassadol Armenia's financially strapped govemmenthas only complicated Arzoumanian's test. Operating a UN mission with afull-time staff of three or four costs $500,000 a year, he said. With that looming over him, plus his duties as chargd d'affaires in Washington, negarive press coverage over Karabakh, a UN Development Program (UNDP) meeting he missed, and an Azerbaijani UN mediablitzkrieg, and you end up with a less than stellar day. That's exactly what happened during two consecutive days following Armenia's UN membership. First, Armenia's overworked delegate, busy with fielding staff candidates and filing dispatches to Yerevan, failed to show up at a March 3 UNDP informational meeting fornew member states. UNDP is the world's largest multilateral development assistance agency.

"Regrettably, there was a technical misunderstanding," Arzoumanian said. "They had told us it was scheduled on another day, and then we were notified late. I would have probably been there." That same day, news broke of an Armenian attack on Khojaly, a strategic village in Karabakh north of Stepanaket.T he N ew Y orkT ime s and other papers ran stories, reporting that Azerbaijani children and civilians were killed in the assault. Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister, Hussein Sadykov, held an impressive UN press conference the following day denouncing the attack. There was no official response from the Armenian Mission. But the ambassador later wrote letters of protest to the llr e N e w Y o r k T i me s and T he W as hi n g t on P o s t and, met

with UNDP officials.

An Armenian

teportel

A small staff of young professionals run Armenia's UN Mission, with at least one member volunteering close to 25 hours a week. "Because I don't have political affiliations, I think [Armenian officialsl have come to trust me," saidAssadourAshdjian, avolunteer aide. "I'm seriously considering a full-time role in the future. But I have my job. I can't just leave that." Ashdjian, a former lawyer at Shearman and Sterling, now heads Vertex Ventures, a Manhattan investment, consulting and trading firm. He sits across from Arzoumanian's desk almost daily, advising and working with the ambassador. Arzoumanian "might seem unassuming, but that's good," he reflected. "Maybe, that's why people trust and open up to him." To his credit, when Arzoumanian opened up to a Voice of America reporter during a phone interview on the events in Khojaly, he handled the political reins elegantly, pulling in and unleashing rhetoric at the right time.

"Khojaly is not a new development," he quipped at the reporter. "It's part ofthe continuing escalation ofa four year-old conflict. The town was being used by Azerbaijanis to lob Grad missiles onto Stepanakert. As far as reports of Armenian atrocities, they are not an accurate reflection of reality. Barbarism cannot be and never has been a part of Armenia's history or culture." Touch6. But there was one catch. The phone interview was

AIM, April

ome 86 countries have recognized Armenia. Now the business of establishing relations through embassies and diplomats is getting under way. The United States became the fi rst nation to open an embassy, on February 3 in Yerevan's Hrazdan Hotel (above). American officials are inspecting buildings suiable for a permanent prcsence, but the embassy is currently functioning.

Iranian Charg6 d'Affaires Bahram Ghassemi,arrived in Yerevan in mid-March to present his credentials and open an embassy. Britain's ambassadortoRussiahas also been appointed representative to Armenia, and France is finalizing plans to open an embassy and appoint a representative in Yerevan. Armenia, too, has begun opening embassies. Mathematician

Alexander Arzoumanian, 32, is charg6 d'affaires in the United States. Asuophysicist Armen Sarkissian, 38, presented his credentials as ambassadortoBritain on March I 8. A continentaway, the Armenian community in Argentina plans to raise $ 100,000 support an embassy in Buenos Aires.

to

How many embassies will Armeniaopen? Foreign Minister

Raffi Hovannisian said Washington, Paris, Buenos Aires, London, a capital in Eastem Europe, one in the Middle East and another in the Far East were first priorities. Available resources, developing relations, and historical links with diasporan communities would influence further sites around the world.

-TonYHalPin With reports by Armineh Johannes in Parls, Khatchlk Der Ghougasslan ln BuenosAires, aN GamikBadallan ln Yetevan

1992

25


conducted entirely in Armenian, and Arzoumanian concedes that he needs to brush up on the communications front.

Out to lunch with a stranger Faced with amammoth agenda, it's good to see people volunteer-

ing services to the ambassador. Camille Barsamian is one such person-so everyone thought. Spuned by the watershed changes that have redefined Armenia, he surfaced at the mission on March 5. "I will donate a one-year apartment to the mission," he said. "This is my gift to my nation. It's my duty. Whatever you need, I can get." Barsamian, who, according to his estimation, weighs 275 pounds and speaks nine languages, said he is honorary counselor at the UN Institute for Training and Research (LINITAR). Moments after his arrival, he offered the ambassador a Havana cigar and extended a lunch invitation at Yaldzlar, a posh restaurant on Third Avenue. Arzoumanian declined thecigarandafterseveral no's caved in on the lunch offer. At Yaldzlar, which translates to srars in Turkish, the seemingly generous Barsamian did most of the talking. He weaved fantastic tales from foreign countries. He said he was a former surgeon in lrbanon and was close to UN Arab officials. Arzoumanian listened to this fabulous man, who was the quintessence of New York; he was grand, sophisticated and street-smart. Atthe restaurant, Arzoumanian seemed dwarfed in his presence.

While chewing an olive, Barsamian asked the ambassador if Armenia would ever consider granting him automatic citizenship. Arzoumanian said no, but agreed to consider the UNITAR official's apartment offer. More than two weeks later, Arzoumanian said the mission tried calling Barsamian, unsuccessfully. It seems, the business number he provided is not in service and his fellowship at the agency terminated last December. "Don't touch Barsamian," said a UNITAR employee. "He did not leave here

voluntarily."

Chasing red herrings in Manhattan can be maddening. But what about yellow cabs, diplomat dealers and political peddlers? Survival

in an organization with 16

agencies and 175 countries requires

Arguing the Gasefor Azerbaiian Hussein Sadykov, 52, is foreign ministerofthe Republic of Azerbaijan. He attended the ceremony in New York to welcome his counby into the UnitedNations.

lnterview by VIKEN BERBERIAN

Alll: ls Azerbaiian prepared to reach a political solution oYer Karabakh?

SADYKOV: The most important

issue is that Armenia renounce its

territorial demands on Azerbaijan for any compromise to take place. I considerus tobe avery civilized people and acivilizedmemberof the UN, and it's impossible for the killing to go on. Our parliament guaranteed the security and rights of all the people of Karabakh. We don't have problems with the self-rule and autonomy of Karabakh. The problem is that Armenia musn't interfere and must stop its calls for joining Karabakh to Armenia. If these conditions are met, autonomy will be given back to Karabakh inside Azerbaijan.

How do you view President Levon Ter.Petrosyan? We don't know him very well personally, but we can make decisions according to his actions. At the present time, as we see it, he is blockaded by extremist groups. But we consider these extremist forces the enemies of Armenia, because they are taking the Armenian people to catastrophe.

Aro you going to make a complaint to the Security Gouncit or anB you going to submit a plan? The main idea is that this conflict be solved in a peaceful way. We use all ways and mechanisms, including the Security Council. We think solving the conflict militarily is not a civilized approach.

will

WiIl Azefiaiian cupport the presence of Uil peacekeeping troops in the lgg:on? The position of the Azerbaijani Republic is that we welcome all efforts which will stop the violence. Our plan will call for peacekeeping forces to stand between Azerbaijan and Armenia and place an embargo on arms into the region.

Theconflictismostly aroundandwithinthe

enclave. Do you sup-

port Ul{

troops

around Karabakh?

attheGeneral Assembly meetlng to welcome Armenia lnto UN membership

political finesse and talent. The UN provides diplomats with the ultimate arena to test these skills. Arzoumanian says that he possesses those skills and that he is primed for the role. "My lack of political experience is anon-issue," he said. "Look at the effectiveness of the former Communists. The essential standard shouldbe

whetherlcanhandlethisposition."

I

The idea is to stop aggression which has spilled out from Karabakh. Ifthere were no armed and political pressure from Armenia, negotiations could stan benveen the Azeri and Armenian communities of Karabakh.

What about placing Ull peacekeeping lorces around the enclaYe?

AIM,April1992


You know that UN troops will not go to the region with fighting going on. We should fint stop the fighting and create the basis to start peace negotiations.

P9 yolr see the region tuming into an Azed Utcter,

bleeding the republic,s recources?

Nagomo-Karabakh constitutes one-fifth of Azerbaijan's territory. Everyone should know that defending this interest is the same in our political groups, even if they have different social and economic persuasions. On the issue ofKarabakh there is consensus.

Armenia renounced territodal claims over Karabakh ln an agleement brokered by Presidents llazarbayev and Yeltcin. Some considered that a difficutt com. pnomaso. What do you think? There is a big difference between the proclamations of the

Armenian govemment and the real situation. Together with the influence of the Armenian community and their propaganda, the Republic of Armenia proclaims that they don't have any territorial claims upon Azerbaijan. But the fact is that a week ago, hesident

lrvon Ter-Petrosyan, at the end ofa speech in Yerevan, uttered the word unity. We think that's madness. The Iazartayev.Yettsin peace plan called for an end to the economic blockade. Why is it still in place?

We welcomed that mission, and we opened fuel pipelines to Armenia following the accord. But the Armenians used Azeri fuel to wage war against the citizens of Azerbaijan.

You caid Azeri fuel, but it,s actually pipelines that pats through Azerbaiian from the north. War has its own rules. If Armenia declares war against the Azeri state, we cannot be expected to send fuel. The democratic republic

of

Armenia supports the terrorist groups who massacred civilians in Khojaly a couple ofdays ago.

lsn't it true that there was a military base in Khoialy and that the village was used to drop Grad missiles on nearby Stepanakert? There were also civilians in Khojaly and there is a military station ofArmenian troops in Stepanakert. Have you everbeen there?A walk of l5 minutes separates the two. I'll tell you the secret of why Khojaly is so importanttoArmenians. It's because of the airportwhichallows direct flights of arms and equipment into the region.

You said war has its own rules. ls this an off icial war? What do you call a situation when heavy arms, military vehicles and helicopters are used? There is real war but it's undeclared.

ls the gouernment in Baku experiencing a crisis of legitimacy? We are a democratic society and we have parties with different points of view. We don't dramatize that. In September, we held democratic elections, and I can tell you that there were 48 observers present. There were also a lot ofjoumalists.

Will Azerbaijan look to Turkey or lran as a modet of deYelopment? Azerbaijan will follow the Azeri model of development. The idea behind this is to tap the best ideas from all democratic countries. We are economically involved with the other republics and favor integration with all neighboring countries. Right now, we are working on laws toprovide incentives toattractforeign investment. Butthe conflict in Karabakh is having a very bad influence on creating an attractive climate. You see, investors cannot make final decisions when war is going on. As far as our direction is concemed, our govemment adopted a resolution declaring that Azerbaijan will build a secular society.

I

AIM, April

1992


Regional Rivals

Russians are infidels. For the nationalists, they are the colonialists.

Nikola Schahgaldian, advisor-designate to the President of Armenia on political affairs, is a senior policy analyst at the Santa Monica, Califomia-based RAND Corporation. He is the author of The lranian Military lJnder The Islamic Republic, and Syria: Quest for Supremacy. He has published a number of articles

ing neighbors. While they seldom openly voice this reality for political reasons, if you look at their modern literature they're always mindful of this situation. Only in this contextcan you appreciatetheir aspirations and ties with Turkey. In their understanding, Turkey would provide them the only escape route.

So, there is that colossus in the north always intervening into Azerbaijani affairs, and its present occupier.

on Middle Eastem politics.

lnterview by

Turks, to ever threaten its independence. A nation that aspires for

Allft Does Armenia's govemment see the Kalabakh dispute as a political liabiliV? supported the human

and national rights of Artsakh Armenians, and will do so in the So, the choice they have is actually very limited.

What about Tu*ey? With Turkey looking east do you see a nesurtgence of pan.Turkism?

That's a long-shot, I think. Azerbaijan is a country struggling to end Russian domination. It would want nobody, neither Iranians nor

Ul KEN BEBBERIAII

SCHAIIGALDIAI{: The govemment has

To the west, they have those nasty neighbors claiming Karabakh' abloody conflict. To the south, youhave the traditional enemy, the kanians, who have enslaved half of the Azerbaijani nation. Finally, to the east there is nothing but water. So, you have an encirclement of sorts by unfriendly and threatenand locked in

future'

Karabakh is something Armenia is already into as a nation and there is no going back. Perhaps it's part and parcel of Armenia's destiny. So the govemment in power has limited options. It has to manage the issue. And Karabakh is areal-life issue. It's not theoretical where you have the luxury of considering whether involvement is an asset or a liability. Armenian leaders have repeatedly asserted that Armeniadoes not seek territorial expansion. That's not the issue at all. The issue is one of self-determination forthe Republic of Karabakh and its population.

Has Azerbaiian's military campaign been a success?

The conflict has changed character in recent months. Except for someregions, it'sbeginningtoresembleclassical warfare, whereyou have distinct fronts instead of opposing sides within the same village or between several villages. Today, with many Azerbaijani armed centers inside Karabakh emptied of their inhabitants, the fighting occurs mostly along theborder. The balance of forces on both sides is about the same. They are well-armed, so continuation of the conflict is no longer automatically favorable to Azerbaijan. But the other side of the coin is also true. How long can Armenians resist? How long can the blockade go on? How long can finances be brought to Artsakh? That nobody knows.

ls Armenia dependent on Azerbaiian for enelgy sources and how important is economic interdepen' dence between the two countdes? Today, there is no economic interdependence. Whatever there was is destroyed. There is little traffic. There is little trade. There is practically nothing ofthe sort. One aspect of the Soviet economy was dependence of union republics on Moscow-nearly 7O percent of Armenia's trade was with Russia. So, interdependence with Azerbaijan was negligible to

beginwith.

How does Azerbaiian view its neighbors? Despite a widespread notion among many diasporan Armenians that Armenia is surrounded by unfriendly neighbors, something very similar is felt by Azerbajanis, particularly among their intellectuals. In fact, many Azerbaijanis in Baku harbor a siege mentality. This

complete independence is the last to invite someone else to become its new master. That's not plausible. Ethnic and linguistic similarities do not necessarily lead to political unity, if that is what is meant by pan-Turkism. Also, you have to remember that Azerbaijan is predominantly Shiite and Turkey is Sunni. So, to say that both are Islamic is not enough. One can witness religious sectarian conflict all over the Islamic world today.

Does Azerbaijan have a brighterluture worhing with Turtey or han?

Depending on what kind of govemment comes to power in Baku, it could move either toward Iran or Turkey. They'll probably go both ways to balance one another. But I think that overall, sympathy with Turkey is strongerthan with Iran. The sense of Azerbaijani nationalism, no matter what degree of completion it has reached, is stronger thanreligious affinities among the Azerbaijani people.

You're saying the secular element is stronger in Azettaijan? Yes. The secular opposition groups are stronger than the religious oriented groups. Even the extreme nationalists are secular, but that doesn't mean that all of the opposition elements are nationalist or religious. There is also a democratic opposition element that looks to the West and emulates Westem values. So, it's very differentiated.

The urban centers al'e secularist-the nationalists and

those

among the intellectuals who look to Turkey as a model. In the rural areas, it's radically different. There are many in those areas who look toward Iran as their model because of deeply shared religious and cultural attitudes and values. Then there are the former Communists, who, by definition, are secular.

Does Azerbaijan have a singular and defined na' tional identity?

ForAzerbaijan, ethnic harmony is key to intemal slability. Without the first it cannot have the second. This is in sharp contrast with Armenia, where Armenians now make up over 96 percent of the population, and where you have full-fledged understanding and consensus on national goals on a popular level. Azerbaijan is a diverse multi-ethnic, multilinguistic and multireligious society. There are the Shiites in the south who form a majority, and the Sunnis in the north. So, there is that division. Aside from that, Azerbaijan has a large number of ethnolinguistic groups, whose existence had been denied for decades.

How big arâ&#x201A;Ź these groups?

is a distinct aspect of their political thinking, an outcome of their

It's difficult to estimate. For one, there is the distinctly Iranian, non-Turkic element concentrated in the southeast, next to the Iranian

geographical position. To the north, they face the Russians. Forthe religious element, the

border known as the Talish. They are Shiite and speak a Farsi dialect. In the I 920s, they numbered just under 100,000. Recent estimates put

28

AIM, April

1992


them anywhere from 350,000-500,000. Despite their sizable presence, theTalesh aren't permitted to have a single school, newspaper

orclubof theirown.

Official Azerbaijani figures for 1970 au;rd 1979 said no Kurds existed in Azerbaijan. A decade later, they conceded that 12,000 Kurds lived in the country. Obviously, this was not a serious estimate. The Kurds themsslys5-as well as otherimpartial sources-speak of some I 50,0fi)-2fi),000 Kurds in Azerbaijan. Then there are the Tats, the Tabasarans, the Christian Udis, the Lrsgians, the Avars, the Tatars, the Muslim Georgians, the Dzkhours and many others, in addition to the large Russian community. These nationalities have not only remained unrecognized, they've been discriminated against. It's not only a violation of Armenian rights in Karabakh that has led to conflict. There are clearly cases involving

How are the Azetaiianis in lran viewed by their ethnic btothens in the Republic of Azertaiian? The nationalist element, including the former Communists and many of the opposition groups, view Azerbaijan as a nation divided into two. Since the republic is now a recognized free state, many now say 'what about the Azerbaijanis in the south.' So, the aspiration on the part of some Azerbaijani intellectuals and others to agitate, organize, protest and eventually to "liberate" Iranian Azerbaijanis from the so-called Persian yoke becomes a politically dangerous issue between Iran and Azerbaijan.

What about the ethnic aspirations of the Azeris in lran? Bight now they are not agitating for unity, are they? No. They're not agitatingfor unity. On thecontrary, wheneverthis issue comes up, the overwhelming majority calls for the retum of northem Azerbaijan to Iran and not the reverse. Present Azerbaijan or ancient Aran had historically been a part of the Iranian state up until the early l9th Century. So, unity in that sense is acceptable to them.

c

.E

o d

= .9

z

Also, an overwhelming majority of Azerbaijanis in Iran view

=

themselves first and foremost as Iranian, and their sense of being Azerbaijani is not in opposition to being Iranian.

Moreovel there

has been no

discrimination against Azerbaijanis

in Iran. For example, if you look at the Iranian cabinet, you can find half a dozen Azerbaijanis there. But nobody in Iran would view them as Azerbaijani. It doesn't mean anything in terms of ethnic identity. Iran's supreme religious leader is an Azerbaijani; the former Shah's wife was Azerbaijani. It doesn't mean much.

What about the Popul,ar Frcnt? Cant it unity Azertaiian politically and on a national level? The Popular Front is not one entity to begin with. There are many diverse groups in the front ranging from Social Democrats to PanTurkists, to chauvinists and liberals-you get all fypes. Really, one cannot talk about common positions except for several things: all of them oppose the Communists, the Russians and their influence in their country. Opposition to Armenia on the Karabakh issue is also

verypopular. Often, the govemment in Baku manipulates this sentiment to strengthen its legitimacy and popular support. This is not very unique: on the Armenian side, that element also exists among some political groups. Independence is also a common basis for unity among the

Azerbaijanis.

How would you describe Azerbaiian's economic potentia!? Compared to the Central Asian republics it's relatively industrialized; on an intemational level it's still agricultural. Industry and mining produced less than a third of Azerbaijan's Gross Domestic

other groups that haven't reached that stage of acute hostility, although interethnic animosities involving these minorities have grown noticeably in the past few years. Therefore, you can't really rule out serious trouble of this type for the future.

Not a very homogenous society. You have to understand that Azerbaijan and Azerbaijani national consciousness is a 2fth-Century phenomenon. Their place in the region, their national values and goals and the essence ofnationhood arc still unsettled. This is in sharp contrast to the situation in Iran, Georgia, Armenia or even Turkey, which settled this issue early on in

thecentury.

Product in the late 1980s. Unlike Armenia and Georgia, Azerbaijani industry was not diversified. The basic components of its economic backbone were oil extraction and petrochemicals. Azerbaijan has iron and other mineral resources, but the exports which may eirm them hard currency are agricultural products and oil. Azerbaijan produced more than half of the oil for czarist Russia in 1910. During World War II, it again pumpedhalf of Russia's oil ourput. Today, Azerbaijan produces little oil on its territory. Whatever is pumped is offshore in the Caspian. In the 1980s, it produced less than two percent of Soviet oil production, which was not enough to meet domestic needs. Azerbaijan is actually anet oil importerfrom Russia.

Why the drop? Well, they ran out of oil apparently without discovering new sources. That's when they went off-shore in the 1970s. In the late I 980s they produced roughly 14 million tonnes of oil a year. Today, even that indusbry is disrupted.

AIM, April 1992

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first visited the Caucasus in 1980, after attending a petroleum industry conference in Rome. His trips have taken him also to Westem Armenian towns inTurkey.

"I studied political science while I was at Waseda University," recalls the mild-mannered Nakajima. "I remember reading about Armenia in the writings of Plutarch. It just stuck in my mind. Since my specialty was the Russian Revolution, I wanted to visit that wholeregion." He attributeshis special interest in

TheJirst meeting otthe Japan-Armenla lnstltute: Hideharu Nakaiima is standlng in the center row

A Friend in Tokyo HidehnruNal<njimnBrings the History of the People ofArarat tothe Landof Mt. Fuji inHis SpareTime By SOt{lA KATCIIIAN

Altl Tokyo Correspondent

hen Hideharu Nakajima had the idea of creating a JapanArmenia friendship association in 1986, his friends tried to dissuade him. "You won't be

page bulletin, it is sent to more than 200 readers throughout Japan. He also publishes aquarterlyof articles in Japaneseon avariety of Armenian-related topics. Managerof public relations at Petroleum Association of Japan, Nakajima made his fifth pilgrimage to Armenia this summer. He

abletogatherenough people in

Japan to form a group focused only on Armenia!" they wamed.

At the time, Nakajima

was

working on a book about Armenia. Today, he is president of the Japan-Armenia Institute, which he runs on a voluntary basis out of his home in Kawasaki. The board of directors, which was voted in last

Ame-

nia to the Church of St. I{ripsim6. "I was extremely impressed by Srp. Hripsim6. Something about the architecture really attracted me." Nakajima also confides that he wanted to f,rll a void in Japanese public life. Until the 1988 earthquake, he says, almost nothing was known aboutArmenia. Nakajima's 500page book, Armenia: A Flash of Hope in History, helps to do just that. Published in 1990, it is a collection of important texts which Nakajima has ranslated into Japanese. Complete with maps, photographs by the author, and an extensive bibliography, it is the most comprehensive book in Japanese about Armenia. Nakajima is currently compiling a sequel on modem Armenian history,

from the tragedy of the earthquake to the history of Karabakh and the self-determination movement. His visit last August was part ofthat effort. The role which the association has set for itself is two-fold: to foster and promote Armenian studies in Japan, and to encourage

the expansion ofcultural relations between Japan andArmenia. With that aim, the association organized

an exhibition at the Nikon Photo Salon in Ginza this April T- 13, featuring photographs

of Armenia by Rouben Mangasarian of Yerevan. The Japan-Armenia Institute has already provided a network for people with mutual interests. At the February l99l meeting, an Armenian who was having trouble shipping cognac directly out ofYerevan had the good fortune to meet an association member who was in charge of cargo flights between the Middle East and Japan. Another fortuitous conversation spawned a photobook on Armenia in Japanese; a corollary photo exhibition traveled throughout Japan last December, on the third anniversary of the earthquake.

February at the first annual as-

Nakajima is surprised that there is so

sembly of the association, includes medical professionals, academics, an earthquake engineer and a pub-

much interest in Japan for Armenian culture and history, and for trade between the two countries. He says he is amazed that so many people have elected to become members of the Japan-Armenia Institute and is very optimistic thathis organization will expandeven more in the future.

lisher. Twenty-eight people, including three Armenians residing in the Japanese capital, attended

the inaugural meeting at Tokyo University. Nakajima produces and distributes the association's newsletter, Ararat. An impressive four-

Nakaiima meeting with President Ter-Petrosyan in Yerevan last summel

AIM, April 1992

At 52, Nakajima is looking forward to rettement, when he will be able to devote more time to his all-consuming passion-

Armenia.

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pcculiarlv Anrcrican tracliticm. thc sr.rnulr:r carnp. has lrccn reaclilrlrtloptctl h1,\r'rrrcrri;rrr tonln'rrrlritics lionr tlrc Middlc East to thc Arrrcricas. Rural rcsirlcnce calnps not only clcar the cur lirnrcs thrnr ch ildrcn's lungs but broaclen social skills. hcightcn aw,arencss ol' nature antl challcrrgc chiltlrcn to tap rcsourccs iurd rlusclcs-ncvcr belbrc uscd. Although lun is thc prinrarv goal ol e vcry cilnrp. Anlrcnian canrps provide an anrbicnce that rnakr-s children lcarn aboul and l'ecl comlirrtlble with theil cthnic hcritage. 'l'hrouth rnaking ll'ienrls antl cncountcring

,\nlcnian culturc curll on. chilclrcn

acld it

spccial tlinrension to thcir lives. Munv parcnts li'cl Anncnitn church cantps also ex1.rosc

thcir childrcn 1o othcr chiklrcn lionr

equal onc yearol'Sundav school. Many carnps havc a spccial cvcnt durillg

Big Pines rcporlcd two thirds ol'their

the rvcek or rnonth. likc an Olynrpics bctwccn cabins, talcnt shon s. or a thcrre pafly such as Clhristrnas or Ilallowccn. l-ast y'car. Ncri York's A(iBLJ ('anrp Nuhar stagcrl a tradit ional Arrncnian lr'crkling. ctxnplete willr

J'hc olclest Arrnenian youth cump in Anre rica is Clnrp Haiaslan, lbuntlccl in

19.5 I

in Franklin. Massachusctts {-cntrtl to lhc thrcc large Anrrcnian corrrrnunitics of Bos ton. Worcester and Proviclencc. Anncnian carnps sincc tht'n havc sproute(l up in thc Catskills \'lountains in Ncu York and as lar wcst as thc S icrra Nevadas in Clalilirrnia. 'l'hc l2 canrps in thc Unitcd States, Canacla. Argcntinir anrl Francc that AIM survcycd accomcldatc clch 1'car a rnaxirlurt.t ol 50 to

-1(X)

canrpcrs had attcnclcrl prcv iously. In Argentina. the "Cokrniaclc Vacaciortcs"

is l l0-year tradition. Ilvcry sunrrner [)c ccnrbcr. January arrrl Febnrary in Latin Anrcrica-thc Honrcnctnrcn Athlctic Associat i<ln's Rarnos Mcj ia Centcr beconics a hcch ive lirr sorne I (X) chilclrcn ol'ages thrcc

to l2 1,'ears. T''l,elvc voune prolcssiolt lls coorclinirtc a wirle rangc ol uctivitie s in the canrp. which is localctl half an hour outsirlc the capital Bucnos Aircs. In thc Llnitccl State s. ovcr hall'of thc cilnrps wcrc lbnrcrl lronr churcli 0rganizations: in Francc the LInion ol Arrlenian Evangclical Churchcs has tlrc rrrost cxtcnsive ancl variecl lrnntral carnp prograrns. But rcligious crnphasis can bc nrinirnalorstrcng. Sonrc tclch sinrplc praye rs ur ol'ler Bible studr'. whilc others rcquir e attcntlancc at nrorning chapcl

gorxl. stublc Christian larnil ic's.

.tl

to 17. with a high perccnta-qe of'repeat canrpers. AYF Camp

.100 carnpers. agcs sevcrl

By KATHERINE CHILJAN

scrvicc. Each wcck a rninistcr fiom the

Anlcnian Evangclictl Llnion eivcs lecturcs at Canlp Arcv in Calilirrnia.

corrbinin-e Anneniarr hcritagc with Biblical stu(lics. "Wc lccl both Arrncnian and Christian. \\e cannot scparate it: it's what has made thc Arnrcnians stan(l out." says

cortlin-e

Krikor Hakimian. Ac-

to Rcv. Vcrtancs Kalayjian.

ligious instruction lirr tu'o wccks al St. Varlau (-arnp in Corrnecticut coulcl re

AlM. April

1992

brirlc and groom, britlcsrnaids and horscs. AYF Curilp IIiliilsliln PUI 0n lt l)('ilt)ul eilillival usin-e pcirnuts as script. AYF Camp Big


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Pines and Camp Kessab, both located in Wrightwood. Cal ifomia, have exchanges and a big volleyball tournament. Children are often divided into groups ol'

Armenian and non-Armenian speakers for teaching purposes. When the latest wave of Armenian immigrants came to the United States in the early '80s. Camp Arev f-eatured two separate programs: to acculturate thc immigrant children to the American way of' life, and to acquaint thc Anrerican-bom chil-

dren with Armenian culturc. Children who have no knowledge of thc

Armcnian language ofien return

i,rt*" sf.,"*ltl l,',1

l

home with a pcppering of it, which always surprises parents. Most carnps havc instruction lbr an hour or two in thc morning, with thc rcst ol'thc clay devoted to recreation. "Wc have no illusions that we're pennanenlly teaching the Armenian languatc, etc., but the ambicrrcc rrnd cu lturirl env ironmcnt gives thc youngstcrs cnough substance to makc them l'eel comfortable with

their ethnic identity," says

St.

Vartan's Rev. Kalayjian. "Anything more we can manage to teach is a fiinge beneflit." Mariana Rafael ian. of the Buenos Aires camp. agrees:

"Thc prime objective is enterlilin-

ment, but that could be a fun way to inculcate ourheritage and language. " Instruction is made as palatablc

AIM, April

1992

possible to children anxious to get on that horse or jump into the lake . Rev. Kalayjian's wife, Anahid, designed the Armenian Experience program at Camp Nubar. Sessions of 50 minutes are taught every other day, comprised ol'l0minutes each of Armenian dance.

as

singing, history and language. "The kids don't like to sit in class and learn Armenian as it is, so we had to come up with a way of learning without them realizing it." Hertechniques range from enacting important celebrations like Navasart and the Paregentan Dance, to placing placards in the dining hall picturing lood and utensils with their Armenian names. She discovered that children leamed an Armenian song more quickly ii they banged on the tables. "lf that's thc way

they'll leam, let them do it!

I

Sornc-

ol'our

directors had to closc thcircars. but I couldn't allow the chitdren to stop." The basic rule is always to mix lcaming with fun. Camp Haiastan will havc an allArmenian language day. eve n whcn playing sporls; a lecture at Camp Nubaron Anrenian kings and quecns is enhancccl by children portftrying. lhcrn in dftrwing: ()r pottery. Simplc and livcly songs, like the Ayp-PenKim (ABC) and short poems in Armenian

are taught at the Wcstern Diocese Youth Camp in thc Sierra Ncvadas. "l think those childrcn who have been brought up in the U.S. or have little background in theirhomes are a littlc more eager to leam than thc children who hear it all the time." says direc33

i'-

.


Roll Gall

tor Sandy Gostamian.

Older children arc receptive to current events, now more than ever with Armenia's independence. AYF Camp Big Pines staged

a mock election last year which was extremely popular; the children represented three Armenian political parties without identifying themselves, and afterwards the

in Armenia, in addition to Armenian lan-

LA FONTAT{ELLE Armenian Evangelical Union Location: La Salle, France Contact: 91.65.62.00 (Marseille)

CAIIP ol NOR SEROUND Localion: Toulouse, France Conlact: 42.216.29.74 (Paris)

Armenian Evangelical Union Location: Frazier Park, CA Contact: Krikor and Patricia Hakimian 21 3/696-2380

UCJA CAMP Christian Union of Young Armenians Location: La Salle, France Contact: Pastor Joel Mikaelian 91 .93.41.22 (Marseille)

CAMP KESSAB Kessab Educational Assn. Location: Wrightwood, CA Contact: Khatchig Titizian

u8n87-5877

CAMP ARARAT (day camp) Ecole Armenien Sourp Hagop Localion, Montreal, Canada Contact: Mrs. Maghakian

HYE CAI'P Midwest Region N. American Diocese Church Location: t hr. west of Flacine, Wisconsin Contact: Anna Giragossian

religion-what-

it is, they want to come back," says director Anna Giragossian. "We have as

ever

514/33 t -9993

CAMP SEVAN (day camp) Tekeyan Cultural Association Location: Montreal, Canada Contact: Mr. Nubar Babikyan

7081448-1418

much fun as the children have," affirms Graciela Aynadjian, a coordinator at the

ST. VARTAN CAMP Diocese of Armenian Church Location: Windsor, CT Contacl: Nancy Basmajian 212/686-07'tO

Colonia camp in Buenos Aires. Sevag Sarkissian has attended Armenian

camp lor seven years. "Armenian camp is different: we feel a sense of unity. I'm waitcounselor."

Contact: 78.53.54.16 (Lyon)

GAUP AREV

tremely rustic. "Staff and campers do not look at the accomodations, they get friend-

a

LA SOURCE Armenian Evangelical Union Location: Evian, France

AYF CAT'P HAIASTAN Location: Franklin, MA Contact: Bob Avakian 508/528-0505

guage and dance courses. Camp Nubar uses AIM to help explain current events. The majority of the camps are non-profit, and are usually run by volunteers. In the case of the Hye Camp in Wisconsin, even the land is donated by a community member for one week each year, and the conditions are ex-

ing lor the day that I become

209/431 -8941

AYF CAi|P BlG PTNES Location: Wrightwood, CA Contact: 8181243-47 49 message

camp voted. This year, Nor Seround Camp in France plans conferences on Karabakh, Armenian-Russian relations and everyday life

ship, camaraderie, leaming,

WESTERN DIOCESE YOUTH CAiIP Location: Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA (near Sequoia National Park) Contact: Sandy Gostanian

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AWhodunit of Another Kind The Armenians By John M. Douglas J. J. W inthrop Corporation

H ardcover, 502 pp. $24.95 Beviewed tor

Alll

By GEORGE BOURNOUTIAN

Ir ffif, ,;ffi '';:ts'#xiffiIii:TH::: ;lm'ffi

il:H"-:'s:tl:t*ffi1

1:

the present day. The author has obviously adopted the Armenians, their history, their hopes and aspirations as his own. Unfortunately, T he Arme nians is another example of good intentions gone awry. The as ''well versed in classical history and the author of many books." However, there is no indication of

dust-jacket describes Douglas

his educational background nor other credentials nor is there a list ofany ofhis books. A search in a number of

libraries, books-in-print catalogues and a national computer data base inquiry failed to produce

any books by a John M. Douglas who is a classical historian. No one seems to know anything about this "fa-

mous" scholar. The

Winthrop

J.J.

being responsible for the establishment of Mamluk rule there, again citing no sources. The author lists the number of Armenians

living in the various cities in Turkey. This and statements from the survivors of the

therefore be 90 years old! There are a number of general problems and many specific inaccuracies. There areno bibliographical data and no footnotes; the two explanatory notes mention no sources, and numerous quotes appear without references. Furthermore, for a book of this size with thousands of names and terms, the index is a mere three pages! The order of certain events is haphazard and vignettelike, and there is no critical analysis of major statements involving controversial issues. Douglas employs myriaddates without substantiating them. There is no transliteration system; some strange renditions of proper names appear, e.g. Madteos Ourhayetsi, Katchuk Kairnardji, Ashin instead of Oshin, Emperor Tchimishkik instead of Tzimisces, Behemund, Edes4 andMkhitarKoch (Gosh). For a work of this nature, it is surprising to find only one map, and that map is erroneous. [n palticular, the borders of thepresentday republic are inaccurate. The work can and probably will be attacked by anti-Armenian groups as very biased, praising everything Armenian and attacking every Muslim or Turkish action without citing sources. To cite only a few of the many specific problems: The author mentions the great Armenian scholars and

lists a certain Parbetsi among them-no first name.One presumes he means Lazarus

of

Pharb. Douglas' claim that Darius was a

Corporation a publishing

(apparently not

house) is not listed in any New York directory, and the sales flyer provided only a P.O. box in Illinois. The introduction explains that the author was moved by the 1988 earthquake in Amenia to assemble the data that he andhis fatherhad collected on the Armenians and the Middle East. According to Douglas, his father (no name given)

was a scholar of Ottoman history and a newspaper editor, who left many rare documents which Douglas claims to have used. The author adds that he has traveled widely around the world for his research and has spent time in Armenian refugee camps in the Middle East, where he interviewed survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Since no indication of the date is given, one assumes that Douglas visited the refugee camps and inter-

viewed Armenian survivors in the 1920s (because by 1930 there were practically no suchcamps left in the region). Douglas must 36

son of a Parthian

king and not an Achaemenid is inaccurate. He does not

mention the inscription at Behistun and the Armenians. He lists Armenia as comprising the 13th and l4th satrapies, when in fact it was the l3th and l8th satrapies. Douglas indicates that Alexander the Great entered Armenia; he never did. He reports that Chairman Mao planned

to

adopt the Armenian alphabet to replace the Chinese characters, an interesting though outrageously false notion, especially since there is again no fooffrote to justify this. He wrongly accuses the Seljuks of "deporting"

Armenians to Cilicia, and the Armenian survivors of that "holocaust" then brought sheep and forests to the area. Douglas refers

to an Armenian woman ruling Egypt and

AIM, April

1992

Genocide would have been extremely valuable had the author bothered to mention his sources. Otherwise, such statements as well as many otherpro-Armenian statements could be interpreted as biased and unsubstantiated propaganda He quotes the famous line, "those who cannot rememberthe past are condemned

to repeat it," without mentioning Santayana asoneof itsauthors. Itappearsfiom Douglas's prose that Shaumian planned to escape to Yerevan via the Caspian Sea! His explanation of the Armenian conversion to Christianityfollowsthe sameoldlegends andignores modem research on the subject. Further-

more, he gives 303 A.D. as the date of conversion, but adds that recent studies claim

it to be 314 A.D., failing to explain how either date was arrived at. Douglas totally ignores the Armeno-Arab treaty between Theodorus Rshtuni and the Muslim caliphate in Damascus, and concentrates on creating an exaggerated picture

ofArab terror.

Other statements are completely false. He claims that the Arabs tried to convert the Armenians and that only afterthey failed did they classify them as dhimmis, or the pro-

tected people. In actuality, the Arabs from the start classified all Christians and Jews as the people of the scriptures, an d thus, d hi mmi s. Douglas depicts Peterthe Great as having no plans forexpanding southward towards Persia, not responding to Israel Ori's plan. This

is inaccurate. Peter the Great did give Ori hope for the future and in 1722 did attack the Caspian liuoral and northem Persia. Douglas claims that the Russians triumphed over the Turks and annexed Eastem Armenia. The region, in fact, was under Persian suzerainty and Russia annexed it after the Russo-Persian Wars of l8(X-1813 and 1826-1828. Finally, Douglas ends the bookby saying that he hopes that Armenians will one day retum to theirhomeland-{he Plains of Mount

Ararat. The present-day Armenian Republic is located on the plain of Ararat! The absence ofany concrete information on the author renders the entire project extremely suspicious, andforces one to assume that this is either a private effort by someone (probably an Armenian) who has passionately tried to acknowledge the great injustices inflicted upon the Armenians, or an effort to

make money from the current interest in Armenia. Unfortunately, his effort can do moreharmthan good. IhopeJohnM. Douglas identifies himself and rewrites this work, which could have been a valuable contribution to the history of the Armenian people.

G*rge Boumoutian is associate professor of Russian history at lona College, aN visiting professor of Armenian history atTults University.


PROFILE

Aram Saroyan: HisOwn Odyssey

was, eight-years-oldor l2-years-old, and supposedly had the greatest father in the world, when in reality I only saw him on summer vacations. What is an eight-year-old to do, tell the world that they're wrong?" Not until Saroyan was well into his 3Os-when hebgan Last Rires--did he realize how powerfirl his ambivalence toward his father really was. "Basically,Iwas outof touch withmyself throughoutmy youth and didn't know who I was or what feelings I had. That's why this book was so important to me," says Aram. So he poured himself onto the pages of a book, to understand his feelings and his father's nature. The book, published in 1982, explores feelings of despairandpromise between a father and a son, who, hold an immense love for one another, but remain separated by invisible cages which keep them from experiencing that love. "My father's fust and most important close relationship, the one with his own parents, ended painfirlly and abruptly when he lost them and was orphaned at age three. He therefore equated intimacy with pain. From that point on, as soon as things became intimate, he

By ilARIA ABilOUDIAN Speclal to

Altl

became scared and sabotaged

By

ehind the playful eyes and mischievous smile of author Aram Saroyan lies a painful history filled with confusion, anger, sorrow and conflict. It is now mostly resolved, due in part to a joumal in which he expurgates his anger for his father, William Saroyan. 7he three-week joumal on his father's dying days, infuriated an Armenian community that idolized the legend-

ary novelist. And Aram stood labeled a "bad boy," an ungrateful rebel. Yet at the finishof last Rites, William Saroyan is far from being

it."

age eight, Aram Saroyan's parents had been married and divorced twice. Meanwhile, Aram found himself increasingly distraught and alone, which bled into his schoolwork. A slow reader, he struggled to retain lengthy literature, and consequently found poetry. "I was attracted to poems because of their brevity and their promise of what a person is," he confesses. "I was really confused about the truths of human beings and looked to poetry for that reason." He wrote his first poem at 16, "a crowd pleaser," which his father and others applauded. Yet, he did not find it to be fully representative of his true self. So he tried again. This time it read:

I

nuu" spent

a year

mostly alone.

Walkingalot. With

a

poetic attachment

to street drawings. Staring at concrete.

My shoes. Andgoingovermy life. Situations.

Walking and sitting in my room.

Ormovies. Orreading. Working. Practicing the new patience. The yearhas been good. With long thoughts. Care to myself. The untitled poem reflects his allegiance to himself. "This poem, along with five others, represented my beginning as a poet. I was introspective, trying to sort myself out; and in my poetry, rather than writing perfect crowd-pleas-

Aram Saroyan in his patlo as a multidimensional being with authentic human sffuggles. Aram comments: "William Saroyan was much

dethroned. He is depicted

more interesting as a real person than as a myth, and l portrayed him as truly was, as an imperfect man." "My father was a very hurt person inside," continues Aram. "And hisprivate realitydid notresemble his public image atall. Thenhere I

he

ing poems, I opted instead for a romantic approach where I sacrificed formal perfection for a sense of my own evolutionary process. "The idea is that the process through one's interaction with his art form is more important than the final outcome. In this particular poem, I was beginning to nurture myself and, in a sense, I was becoming my own parents." Growing up in the '60s, Aram dabbled in the experiments and explorations of the "beat" Bohemian. "People thought about being poets and writen like people now think of being in rock bands. And

AIM, April

1992

37


the New York drug stores had serious literature on the paperback racks. Of course, this was before the Beatles, Dylan and the Rolling Stones surfaced." He consequently published seven poetry collections, the last few works tuming from the traditional to the more avant-garde, specifi-

FromlastRites ArU ** it came to me all at once that we were being thechainlhad envisioned several days before, the onemy fatherhad neverquitebeen able to link up with, as it had seemed to me then, since the loss of his fatherhad linkedhiminto oblivion onboth sidcr, not allowing him to be the beginning link in a series of three generations---child/father/

father's father; emigration andthe American experience eliminating both the second and the ttrird.Butl would swearto itthatrightnow, in the last moments of his life, we were linking up, with

meinthemiddle. William

ilorow

and Company, 1nc.,1982

cally "concrete" or "visual" poety. A poem, for example, might consist ofone word, such as "crickets," repeated vertically to form a strip down the right-hand side of the page. When reading the page

aloud, the sound of crickets is approximated. Others might be oneword poems, such as the word "light" spelled: "lighght" all in lowercase letters. "'Lighght' was a reflection of the whole psychedelic movement that was prevalent then. It was the same time period that identical metal boxes placed in a row might have been called a sculpture," he explained. His own experiences through the '60s became the topic for two books-Ihe Street, arld his current memoir, Fiends in the WorA, scheduled for release this spring. '"The '60s were a time of idealism, intelligence, sruggle and aspiration," says Aram. "But nobody discusses these things anymore, because what was really going on was a whole generation of middle-class kids who had all the things that their parents sftuggled for. "They had their linoleum, formica, color television and they were bored. So they threw the silver spoons out of their mouths and went out into the streets to find something more." Now he peels away his past with a matue sense of admiration. Inside, he sees its redeeming qualities-the genius and the beautyintertwined with the pain and the fault. "My father and the whole Saroyan family were beautiful anddigffied. They had areally proud and rich culture as I find Armenians as a whole do." His newest endeavors include a new crime book called Rancho Mirage, and his own literary agency, Writers, Inc. "I've been a writer for 25 years, and I feel like I've leamed and improved along the way," he says. "Still, the Armenian community has hesitated to recognize my work apart from my father's. Now I'm almost 50 years old, and I hope that recognition will happen soon."

Marla Armoudian is a Northildge, Calffomia-based frer,lance

writer and a frequent eontributor to AIM

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Paradise

withaView The Tile Paintings of Marie Balian By lREilE IIOSALL! Sp.â&#x201A;Źlll to Allil

FIn

world is serene and tull of life, vividly colored and highly harmonized. It is an eden, a strange marriage of the ethereal and the real. It 's made out of components, theoretically cold and still, but which

move and throb under her measured hands. Just hold on to them, and they

will lead you through willows and dirt paths to the peak of a hill with an impressive view of paradise. "Views of Paradise" is a rare exhibition of Marie Balian's tile paintings, on view at the Dillon Ripley Centerof the Smithsonianin WashAIM, April

1992

39


ington, D.C. through April 26. Armenians in the ancient Near East mastered the art of hand-paintedceramics centuries ago. A resident of Jerusalem, today Balian carries that legacy. Her parents are from Kutahya, Turkey, a centerof ceramic production. Her husband's parents moved from Kutahya to Jerusalem in l9l8 to replace damaged tiles on the dome of the Al-

OmarMosque.

At that time, the

gazelles leap with grace. Balian's landscapes teem with fruit trees and colorful flora as in "The Harvest of Olives," and "Paradise."

From their Jerusalem workshoP, the Balians have wooed European and American connoisseurs. Israeli President Chaim Henog and the former queen of Jordan are

Balian patrons. "People come to our

place from all over the world," she said. "They buy orcommission whateverholds their fancy, on the spot." To build this world of beauty and

Balians opened a workcalled Palestinian

shop

Pottery. Together with husbandSetrak,the two

produce vessels

flowers exude joy, trees stand majestic and flamboyant, birds chirp and soar high, and

splendor, Balian has mastered a very difficult technique that encompasses four phases: drawing on the tiles with charcoal and black ceramic oxide, applying colors, glazing, and then firing. The out-

and

panels for distinguished houses, hotels and pub-

lic buildings throughout the world. He is the potter, and she, the painter.

"My parents were not involved in ceramic art, but my mother used to paint a lot," said

line

brushwork

with ceramic oxide ink is themost

challenging

phase, and this is

whereherartistry shines. Another

delicate process

Balian. "On the other hand, my father- and mother-in-law lived in that art. He was a skillful and inventive potter and she created

involves

colors

which tiles are fired at atem-

designs for the objects they produced. "They put their personal touch on a craft that is a mixture of Armenian, Persian and

Turkish influences." A former graduate of I'Ecole des Beaux Arts de Lyon, Balian introduced a new aesthetic to the craft. Her trademarks are large panels and curving designs which contrast the geometric and rectilinear pattems ditional glazed ceramic art.

of tra-

"The purity and symmetry of her graph-

ics is striking," said art connoisseur Dani Beylerian. "It's some of the most delightful and refrgshing art I've ever seen." For centuries, Armenians adomed their churches with colorful glazed tiles depicting biblical scenes, elements from nature and geometric pattems. The tiles often combine motifs from Sassanian (pre-Islamic Iran, A.D. 224-65 l),Byzantine and Islamic art to unique Armenian elements. Marie Balian marries her immense love for nature with the rich history of Armenian decorative ceramics. In her compositions,

40

the

preparation of change

as the

perature of more than 1,0fi) degrees Celsius, hot enough to melt stainless steel.

Creating a desired color with metallic oxides, clays and glazes requires skill and experience. This is where Setrak Balian's craftsmanship andtheskillspassedtohimby his father come in. It 's not enough to know that firing tums cobalt oxide into dark blue, green into turquoise, pale red to a deep red, and that green and yellow remain unaffected. The craftsmanship is in dosage and

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proportion. For the ceramic artist, the most beautiful moment comes when the kiln doors open. When Marie Balian is the one doing the opening, you can be sure she's opening the doors to paradise.

lrine Mosalli is a h@lence writer bas€d ln Washington, D.C.

AIM,April1992

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AmericarTUrkey and the Politics of Fear By WAYNE OWENS U,S.

Raprcsnlallve

he disintegration of the Soviet Union has allowed the United States aglimpse at seemingly ageless rivalries inside central

and eastem Europe and the Balkans. The economic depri-

vation, the political confusion, the interettrnic strife all threaten to supplant Communism as destructivebarriers to economic development and democratic rule. While PresidentGeorge Bush and Secretary of State James Baker III have played a vital role in bringing Arabs and Israelis together for the firsttime, the U.S. role in the

shipments of sophisticated weapons. Turkey's threats directed at Armenia have not drawn even the mildest rebuke from Washington. America's refusal to hold Turkey accountable foractions that run

counter to U.S. policy can no longer be attributed to Turkey's geostrategic position in NATO. Today, there is no Soviet threat, the newly independent republics are focused on how to stabilize their economies and feed their citizens. The slow but steady U.S. tilt toward Turkey is now driven by

America's inational and excessive fear of kan. The State Deparffnent is scared stiff that the Central Asian republics, now that they're finally free

former Soviet republics of Central Asiahas been less successful, even counterproductive. It is mY deepest and darkest fear that the United States is poised to ignore history-and as the saying goes, those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.

America's response

from Communism and dictatorial domination, will be wooed by han's mystical appeal. The Administration is giving Turkey a free hand and tuming a blind

to

eye.

Azerbaijan's abysmal human-

Of course, Iran is not our friend. The Iranians sponsor terrorism, send boys to die in

rights record and its choke-hold

on

Armenia and Nagomo-

Karabakh should be principled

and consistent.

By

battle, and have

holding

Azerbaijan accountable for its actions and stopping the movement toward full diplomatic ties, the United States will send a message that it means business. Instead, the Bush Administration has looked the other way, conveniently believing Azerbaijan's promises, while ignoring its violent and intransigent actions.

What is even more dangerous is the U.S. tilt toward Turkey and

our active encouragement of Turkey inserting itself in

the

Transcaucasus, as ifTurkey has been accepted by Armenia as a fair and evenhanded arbiter. Ofcourse, Turkey has alongstanding interest inthe region.It isn't

innocent and it doesnot serve America'sbestinterests. Pan-Turkism, or Turkic hegemony, is not a new concept. And while many may have thought that Turkey no longer has grand territorial designs, I have become increasingly concemed with both the political undercurrent in Turkey and the tempting sight that Turkic republics and Armenia must be to Ankara, now that they are free to assert their political and economic power and are looking for friends, especially old friends. Neither is America's misdirected policy towards Turkey anything new. Beginning in 1978 with the lifting of the military embargo on Turkey, successive administrations have adopted the view that Turkey's strategic importance should be considered above all other factors. The United States and Turkey have become charter members of a new mutual-admiration society. Turkish human rights abuses go all but ignored. Its continual foordragging on Cyprus talks are met not with sfiong words from President Bush or Secretary Baker but with diplomatic double-speak, excuses, more foreign aid, and additional 42

a

callous disre-

gard for fundamental human rights. The current govemment of Iran is ourenemy. But our fears are largely unfounded because the roots of

Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia are virtually nonexistent. These newly independent republics are not eager to replace a totalitarian central authority based in Moscow with an even more extreme one based in Tehran. Besides, it is not as if Iran has been such a political and economic success story. No, the State Department's Iran-phobia is leading the United States down the wrong path. Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have a much greater interest in opening to the West than to Iran. These republics want development assistance. They want better lives. They know, as we know, that the United States of America has more to offer than Iran, and that there is more to gain from the United States than from a pariah state like Iran' Turkey knows that the main U.S. preoccupation in the region is Iran and stemming the spread of Islamic fundamentalism. Predictably' Turkey is taking advantage of the green light from Washington and immersing itself in the Nagomo-Karabakh conflict, which is greeted at the very least with suspicion, and at most with outrage in Yerevan. Should Turkey be tmsted to do America's bidding? No! The bloody and tragic history of this region tells the United States to be vigilant and wary of Turkish promises.

tl.S. Rep.Wayne Owens (DUta!) is a rnemb_r of the House Foreign Aliairs Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East, and the Hbuse *l*t Committe on lntelllgence. Rep. Owens' who ls standing as a candidate tor the llnited States Senate, recently returnd lrom a fact-tinding visit to Russla and Armenia.

AIM, April

1992


To Lufthanso, there's no such as a foreign country.

thing

lf you're looking for an airline that knows the world, you could say we have it covered. Because Lufthansa flies to 190 cities in 83 countries on 6 continents around the world. And we have offices in over 390 cities. Which means almost anywhere you go, you'll find a trained Lufthansa staff to help you with travel arrangements and more. Our people can find you a place for a business meeting in Berjing, a translator in Taipei, or even tell you where to spend your lire in Livorno. At Lufthansa, making foreign travel less foreign to ;ou is another way we show our passion for service. A passion that ensures you the best flying experience in the world.

A passion for perfection..,

O Lufthansa Lufthansa is a participant in the mileage programs o, United, Oe[a, USAir and Continental. See your Travel Agent tor delails.


Statehood Regained - April 1992  

Armenian International Magazine | Statehood Regained - April 1992

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