Is Armenian president pushing his country to yet another war?

23 December 2021 13:37 (UTC+04:00)

By political analyst Fuad Akhundov

The Armenian president has territorial claims for foreign lands once again.

There was this hit in the 80s, which went: “What does it cost to build a house? We will draw it and we’ll live!” Armenia decided that they can draw a map with the same ease, as well as announce foreign territories their own. In any case, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian's interview with  Asia Times leads to such conclusions.

A reminder that the Armenian president stated: “I was recently on a state visit to Italy. As part of it, I visited the University of Bologna and was on a very interesting tour of the library where they presented us with some of the old Armenian manuscripts that they had. There was very interesting material - an old map of the 16th or early 17th century depicting Armenian cultural and religious centres. The composers of the map actually based it on two places: Jerusalem and Constantinople. The map encompasses modern Turkey, modern Armenia, partially covers places in Iran up to Isfahan and other places. It also shows Nagorno-Karabakh with hundreds of medieval Armenian churches and cultural centres”.  

Here is an explanation. First of all, among many forms of lies, there is this one: to tell something that seems to be the truth but so that the interlocutor misunderstands. Mr Sarkissian is trying to attempt a somewhat identical trick. He refers to the map of "Armenian cultural and religious centres", not Armenia as a state.

Moreover, if Mr Sarkissian also visited libraries in his native Yerevan. And would read the second volume of A.D. Papazyan's book "Persian Documents of Matenadaran", published by the Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR back in 1968. And there are papers where signed by the Armenian Catholicos, it is indicated that Echmiadzin and the surrounding lands are in Azerbaijan and there is no Armenia there.

So, one of the Catholicos points out that Vagharshapat is "one-third of a whole village called Uchkilsa from the villages of nakhne'Kyarbi, which is located in the country of Azerbaijan ...". The document is dated 1428, and, as you can see, it directly says that the village of Uchkilsa, the very one that is today called Echmiadzin, is located in Azerbaijan.

Or one more document: when buying two years later the next land in the deed of sale for the village of Uchkilsa, renamed by the Armenians to Vagharshapat, and the monastery of the same name - in Echmiadzin, from 1430 it is said that Saru (Sary) Melik, the attorney of Sheikh Said-bek al-Sa 'Di, sold a third of the village of Uchkilsa, which was subordinate to the country of Azerbaijan in the Chukhur Sa'd vilayet to the patriarch of the noble Christian religion, the mutavalli of Uchkilsa, caliph Grigor. And there are many such examples. 

Furthermore, there really are ancient Christian churches and monasteries in Karabakh, but they aren’t Armenian, they are Albanian. And it is clearly written on the walls of Gandzasar monastery, which is even considered to be the main Christian centre of Karabakh, that this church was built under the patriarchate of the Albanian Catholicos. These are the very inscriptions that Academician Orbeli deciphered.

And if one wants more modern evidence, then the famous Russian film director Karen Shakhnazarov and his talks that his ancestors, in fact, were Christian Turks, and that Karabakh was never part of Armenia can be remembered.

On the other hand, the map of “religious and cultural centres” which the Armenian president refers to doesn’t prove anything at all. Armenians lived in many large cities of Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and even India. They had their own schools, churches and monasteries even back then. Today, Armenian cultural and religious centres can be easily found in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, and Marseille, not counting Tehran or Baghdad. So what - to consider Argentina a part of Armenia?

And, finally, if this map, in the idea of Armen Sarkissian, has to confirm Armenia’s claims to Karabakh, does it mean that tomorrow on its basis, Armenia will present claims to the territory of Iran, right up to Isfahan? And how does he think Iran has to react to such “historical” calculations? 

But in the case of the Bologna manuscripts, Mr Sarkissian at least tries to preserve the semblance of decency and "secures himself" so that he is not openly caught by his tongue. But caution does not last long, and then the Armenian president declares as if “Comrade Stalin, who was a 'great master' of reshaping borders, in fact, a great master of creating problems between nations, including between Armenia and Azerbaijan, has given Karabakh and Nakhchivan to Azerbaijan back then. Because the Soviets wanted to help create a common border between Azerbaijan and Turkey since Turkish leader Ataturk was considered a great friend of Bolshevik Russia ".

And this right here is an explicit lie. First of all, in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia of 1926, in the article “The Armenian question” it is clearly written that in 1918 Armenia declared war on Azerbaijan making territorial claims to Karabakh and Nakhchivan, as well as on Georgia about Ahalkalaki and Borchalo. That is, in 1918, Karabakh was a part of Azerbaijan, but how, then, in 1921, the Caucasus Bureau could transfer it to Azerbaijan? That is why the Caucasus Bureau considered this issue but decided to LEAVE it as part of Azerbaijan. Leave, not hand over. Since, as opposed to 1918, in 1921 Armenia decided to peacefully request to have Karabakh transferred to them, but it was refused and it was left as part of Azerbaijan. And it is unlikely that Sarkissian really does not understand the difference.

Most importantly, that there is not a word about the need to respect the borders recognized by the world community, abandon claims to foreign territories and learn to live in peace with neighbours in the entire voluminous text. And even talking about the 44-day war that Armenia lost Mr Sarkissian doesn’t dare to say that Armenia should give up on aggression.  

Or maybe Sarkissian does not understand that he is pushing his country to yet another war? And now, obviously, without a chance of winning. 

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