ARF Western U.S. Central Committee Declaration -
ARF Western U.S. Central Committee Declaration
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee of the the Western United States, hereby denounces the dangerous tripartite agreement signed by the prime minister of Armenia and the presidents of Azerbaijan and Russia to end the Karabakh War, finding it detrimental to the security and rights of the Armenian People.
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Forty-five days ago, our nation and the people of Artsakh were subjected to an unprovoked military invasion on all fronts by the combined Azeri and Turkish military forces. The goal of the enemy was to once and for all resolve the Armenian question in the Artsakh region, by exterminating and displacing the population. Through the use of internationally outlawed weapons of mass destruction and bombings targeting peaceful civilians, the use of drones and mercenaries, Azerbaijan and Turkey were committed to destroy the Armenian people by embarking on a genocidal campaign.
In response, the entire Armenian Nation rose in defense of our lands and people. Armenians around the globe united like never before. Our people were prepared to fight in this unprecedented war on all fronts. In the homeland, soldiers took up arms, volunteer platoons manned the trenches, and people opened their homes and hearts for their displaced brothers and sisters escaping a ruthless war. The Armenian diaspora mobilized in an unparalleled way to aid Artsakh by raising hundreds of millions of dollars, collecting supplies for the humanitarian crisis, and protesting in the streets by the thousands demanding peace for Armenians, an end to Turkish and Azeri war crimes, and the recognition of Artsakh. We, every single Armenian, became part of the self-defense effort to protect our homeland and people from this crime against civilization itself. United, we rallied around our leaders in Armenia and Artsakh to carve a very difficult path to national preservation and eventual victory.
In its turn, The Armenian Revolutionary Federation in the Western Region, through its many chapters, youth and sister organizations, brought the full measure of its force to aid in this effort. Our mission being to serve and defend the rights of the Armenian People.
For 45 days the Armenian Nation stood alone in the face of an enemy hellbent on eradicating us. The silence of the world and super powers was deafening and unforgivable. But the resolve of our people knew no bounds. We committed every resource in our disposal to ensure our survival and that the blood of the Armenian soldier was not spilled in vein. We believed in our people, and we believed in our leaders.
Today, we feel betrayed. What so many worked so hard for, fought and died for, was traded away, by a unilateral action, without the complete mobilization of Armenia’s military potential and fielding them to preserve Artsakh, and without any consideration for the sacrifices that have been made. This agreement creates an eternal threat for the safety of the people of Artsakh, and compromises the national security and sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia. This betrayal has come at the hands of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his government, with their capitulation to the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkey, by signing an agreement that hands over our ancestral lands and security of our nation to the enemy.
The ARF fully and unequivocally rejects this perilous and defeatist document the prime minister is trying to force upon the Armenian Nation, under the guise of a peaceful resolution to the war in Artsakh. This so called peace agreement that gives away one third of the former Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, displacing thousands of Artsakh’s citizenry; which gives up control over Lachin to the Azeri military, ensuring a chokehold on the lifeline of the people of Artsakh; which demands the removal of all Armenian military forces from Artsakh, placing the security of our people at the mercy of an Azerbaijani government which has repeatedly expressed its desire to ethnically cleanse them; which gives away lands secured by blood in Hadrut and Kelbajar; and finally which requires Armenia to give up land to build a route over Syunik to connect Azerbaijan to Nakhichevan, giving Turkey direct access over Armenian lands. This last condition can and will endanger Armenian’s viability by cutting off its direct access to Iran and ultimately will serve Erdogans’s Pan-Turkism dream. There isn’t a single redeeming factor within this agreement that is beneficial or favorable to Armenia and Artsakh.
We condemn this agreement and the irresponsible actions of PM Nikol Pashinyan. As the leader of the Republic of Armenia, he had the sacred duty to safeguard the interests of our Nation. As someone who preached democratic values and social justice during the Velvet Revolution, he had to be transparent and honest with the people. Instead, he engaged in deception and concealed the truth about the war and its outcome. A surrender of this magnitude and consequence proves the government’s inability to deal with the national interest of Artsakh. The Prime Minister incompetently handled the national defense and then shamefully blamed others. He must be held accountable.
The people of Armenia and Artsakh are owed an explanation from the PM and the Government. However, as the people make their demands publicly, this same government that came to power promising to protect the rights of the people, is violating their civil liberties. As the Nation is trying to cope with an unfathomable defeat and unforgivable concessions, the government has begun a campaign of censorship and arresting all opposition political party leaders, including members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation of Armenia, to silence any dissent. Truly the conduct of repressive regimes.
Prime Minister Pashinyan – honor the promises you made when you came to power, restore the civil rights of the public, release all political prisoners, and accept accountability by heading the calls for resignation and allowing for the peaceful transition of power. This will begin the process of healing and uniting the country to face the threats ahead. For the sake of our nation, this agreement must be undone. It is time to uphold the democratic values you purport to represent.
To the Armenian community in the Western United States, and Armenians everywhere – we ask you to not despair. Our Nation has seen darker days and we have survived. Our power is through our resilience, perseverance, and unity. Our collective work and efforts in the diaspora is not and cannot be over. Our people in Armenia and Artsakh need us now more than ever. We are facing a humanitarian crisis, a national security emergency, economic instability, and a public health crisis caused by a global pandemic. We will only be able to conquer these obstacles together.
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation of Western United States will continue its efforts. We will work to secure funds and assistance for our displaced compatriots, for our wounded soldiers, and the families of our martyred heroes; and we will continue our advocacy for the rights and security of the Armenian people through our government here in the United States.
Finally to our Martyred Heroes: We humbly bow before all of you who made the ultimate sacrifice, giving your lives in defense our homeland and Nation. May you rest in peace, and may we honor your memories by not sparing a single effort serving the ideals of a Free, Independent, and United Armenia.
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