UK calls Armenian diaspora a significant obstacle in Karabakh conflict solution

By: Sara Rajabova

UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s new report showed the Armenian diaspora, which is main source of survival of the Armenian government, as a significant obstacle in achieving peace on the decades-old Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“Sentiment within elements of the Diaspora will remain a significant obstacle to achieve compromise-based solutions over the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute and Armenia’s relations with Turkey,” the Foreign Office said in the report entitled ‘Armenia’s Diaspora – It’s Role and Influence’.

Based on this report, it can be concluded that the United Kingdom finds guilty the Armenian diaspora in further aggravation of Armenian-Azerbaijani confrontation and delay in settling of the long-lasting Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

This occupation – which has continued for over 20 years – has resulted in 875,000 Azerbaijani refugees and internally displaced persons remaining in camps spread across Azerbaijan, the report says.

The report also notes that this has bankrupted the Armenian economy, as borders with two neighbors – Azerbaijan and Turkey – have remained shut since 1993, increasing Armenia’s reliance on Russia.

Turkey cut diplomatic ties and closed its border with Armenia after the country invaded Azerbaijan’s territories. Ankara set Armenia’s withdrawal from Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions of Azerbaijan as a precondition for establishing diplomatic relations with the country.

Besides, Yerevan has sidelined from all the energy projects initiated by Azerbaijan, because of its continuing policy of aggression.

“It has consequently not benefited from any of the current or future energy pipelines carrying Azerbaijani oil and gas to Europe. Instead, the country is set to join the Kremlin-led Eurasian Customs Union on 1 January, despite the fact that international sanctions on Russia are, in turn, having a detrimental knock-on effect on the Armenian economy,” The Foreign Office said.

Armenia has the smallest economy and smallest population in the South Caucasus. According to the FCO report, it is estimated that the Armenian population only amounts to 2.9 million persons and has shrunk by almost one million since 1992.

The Foreign Office said diaspora Armenians are continuing to shore up the ailing Armenian economy. Since 1991, the country has received several billion dollars’ worth of financial support from U.S.-based diaspora of Armenians.

Moreover, the report highlights diaspora’s continuous and significant support to the so-called “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic”, which was formed in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

The Armenian diaspora has made sizeable contributions towards the Armenian economy, health and education, including subsidizing those regions of Azerbaijan that remain under illegal Armenian occupation. These areas have received high levels of diaspora support, both in terms of funding and technical assistance, according to the report.

“The unrecognized ‘Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’ has received proportionally very high levels of Diaspora support since 1992 in the form of both funding and technical assistance (e.g. Armenian Diaspora doctors, teachers, engineers, etc. undertaking voluntary secondments to institutions in NK),” the Foreign Office said.

The report also notes that “the diaspora is steadily bankrupting this small nation, ensuring that it remains totally dependent on Russia, and vetoing any moves towards a peaceful diplomatic solution, based on international law.”

Meanwhile, it is used in the report “inter-communal violence of 1915” referring to the so-called ‘Armenian genocide’, which wasn’t warmly accepted by the Armenian community.

The Armenian media accused the UK of denying the so-called ‘Armenian genocide’.

“Keeping in line with its long-held policy of denying the Armenian Genocide, the report refers to the events of the 1915 as ‘inter-communal violence of 1915’,” the Armenian media wrote.

Armenia and the Armenian lobby claim that Turkey’s predecessor the Ottoman Empire has allegedly carried out a “genocide” against Armenians living in Anatolia in 1915. Armenia could achieve its recognition by the parliaments of some countries simultaneously with strengthening its efforts to promote the so-called “genocide” worldwide.