SIRADEGHIAN, CITING HISTORY, URGES CHANGE IN FOREIGN POLICY.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 19
Yerevan sources have circulated the text of Vano Siradeghian’s January 26 parliamentary speech, in which the Armenian Pan-National Movement (APNM) chairman defended himself against criminal charges and, in turn, pilloried the “clan” of President Robert Kocharian (see the Monitor, January 27). The leader of the formerly ruling APNM, furthermore, targeted the new government’s foreign policy, warning that “confrontation” on several fronts risks leading the country to disaster.
Siradeghian described the current policy as one of “Hayduks”–anti-Ottoman rebels in past centuries, a byword for reckless violent adventurism. He cautioned against a rerun of the events of “eighty years ago.” In 1919, Armenian forces attempted to regain some historic Armenian areas from the Turks, but were defeated and lost even more territory. Siradeghian warned that, this time around, there will be no Eleventh Army to save Armenia at the last moment. Soviet Russia’s Eleventh Army “saved” Armenia in 1920 at the cost of subjugation to Moscow. Admonishing the government against undue reliance on Russian assistance, Siradeghian concluded with the warning that “empires are not restored and an exception can hardly be made for the Armenian nation” (Snark, January 26).
Toward the end of their long rule, APNM leaders sought accommodation with Azerbaijan and Turkey, not least in order to reduce Russian influence in Armenia and the South Caucasus generally. Those leaders were, however, forced out by more hardline groups last year.
IRAN HARBORS ANTI-ALIEV REBELS.