Kiro Manoyan: We are for unification of Armenia and Karabakh

Yerevan / 13.02.19 / Turan: At the end of January, for the first time in history, the congress of the Dashnaktsutyun party was held in Nagorno-Karabakh. It means that for the Dashnaks the Karabakh issue is one of the most important and the party sees its decision in the accession of Karabakh to Armenia, said in an interview with Turan the Co-Chairman of Dashnaktsutyun Party, Kiro Manoyan.

"Our position is that Nagorno Karabakh should be joined to Armenia, since it has never been a part of Azerbaijan and never will be. Our main goal is to consolidate this status of Karabakh," said Manoyan.

According to him, Karabakh proclaimed independence in September 1991, holding a referendum. This happened based on the laws of the Soviet Union that existed. Independence was proclaimed by Azerbaijan. After the international recognition of the independence of Karabakh, the issue of its unification with Armenia will be only technical in nature, the leader of the Dashnaks said.

How can the Armenian side achieve this if the international community de jure recognizes Karabakh as a territory of Azerbaijan? Kiro Manoyan answers a question that at first the task is to recognize the independence of Karabakh by several countries. This will give grounds to consider Karabakh as a subject of international law and the position of Azerbaijan cannot prevent it. After that, the issue of recognition of Karabakh by the world community will be only a matter of time, Manoyan said. To the question whether such a scenario seems unreal to him, Manoyan recalls the fate of Kosovo. "Many countries have recognized the independence of Kosovo, which has become an international entity, despite the protests of Serbia," he says.

What part of the Armenian society wants Karabakh to join Armenia? Manoyan answered this question in the following way: "The position of the Armenian National Congress (the party of Levon Ter-Petrosyan) on this issue does not coincide with ours. However, in the parliamentary elections they did not receive the support of the people. At the same time, the winning party, "My Step" Movement by Nikol Pashinyan supports our position on this issue,"says the leader of the Dashnaks.

Why did not Dashnaktsutyun get into parliament? Manoyan replies to this that not only the Dashnaks, but also the Republicans, Sasna Crer and the ANC did not go to parliament. But on this issue, the opinion of the majority of political forces and the population of Armenia is the same, although a small part of the political elite are not supporters of the entry of Karabakh into Armenia. In particular, this is the position of the Armenian National Congress.

What is the percentage of the population of Armenia that does not support the annexation of Karabakh? The leader of the Dashnaks answers this - the majority. Do Armenians intend to fight to achieve these goals? Kiro Manoyan gives an unexpected answer to this, arguing that the mood in Azerbaijani society is such that they understand that it is impossible to return Karabakh and Baku will have to accept it. "It will be difficult for you to wage war taking into account such sentiments in your society," said Manoyan.

Continuing his thought, he argued that in 2001 the Azerbaijani authorities were ready to recognize the independence of Karabakh after the talks in Key West.

"At the same time, the question was raised about the return of the territories around Karabakh, but today, 18 years later, talking about the return of the territories around Karabakh in exchange for independence is unrealistic. You have to put up with it," says Manoyan in a fatherly tone, while smiling sweetly.

Is the Key West version of the settlement possible today, when Karabakh is connected to Armenia through Lachin, and Nakhchivan is connected to Azerbaijan?

"It was unreal then, and even more so today," our interlocutor replies. If again the war and the Armenians lose the territory around Karabakh and Karabakh itself. Isn't it better to take a step towards a meeting and agree? To this question, the Dashnak leader says that he does not exclude such a scenario, but he immediately added: "Rather, you will lose new territories."

As for the unification of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, it implies the annexation of Karabakh itself and the territories around it. "We are against a compromise in this issue, and the territories around Karabakh must also be annexed to Armenia," said Manoyan.

After the change of power in Armenia, opinions on the need to return to a phased settlement of the conflict are increasingly heard. How realistic is it that the current authorities of Armenia will go for this option? The Dashnak leader answers this question that so far the new government of Armenia officially does not say anything like that. All at the level of some kind of talk and rumors. At the same time, official Yerevan clearly says one thing - Nagorno Karabakh should be a party to the negotiations, the conflict cannot be resolved without its participation.

How does the Dashnaktsutyun party see the resolution of the conflict with Turkey?

Our position is that the current border between Armenia and Turkey is illegal. The real border was determined by Wilson in 1921 and it should pass through Erzurum, Kars, Trabzon and Van.

"There are many similar territorial disputes in the world and their presence does not mean that they should war", said Karo Manoyan. -02B-

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