Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Ara Aivazian gave an interview to BBC Weekend during which he answered questions regarding the US President’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide and Armenia’s relations with Turkey. The interview is presented below.
Question: What is your response to President Biden’s statement? Was it everything you’d hoped for?
Ara Aivazian: As 106 years ago today the Armenian people are fighting for historical justice, for a safe and dignified life in their historical homeland. We welcome the statement of President Biden by which the US clearly defines the mass atrocities committed against the Armenian people in the 20th century as genocide. It should be recalled that relevant resolutions recognizing and condmening the Armenian Genocide were adopted by the US House of Representatives and Senate in 2019.
Yesterday we commemorated the 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. And here in Armenia and in different parts of the world wwe saw strong solidarity of the international community, numerous strong messages of support, which are encouraging us to multiply our joint efforts in the international fight for condemnation and prevention of genocides.
Question: Mr. Aivazian, are you hopeful other countries will follow suit?
Ara Aivazian: Well, the recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide is a universal issue of humanity. This address makes a significant contribution to the global recognition of the Amenian Genocide and the prevention of genocides. Today, the US authorities have unequivocally reiterated their commitment in human rights and the principles of humanity.
Question: Mr. Aivazian, what in fact do you think Joe Biden’s statement will have on your relations with Turkey?
Ara Aivazian. As far as relations with Turkey are concerned, Turkey pursues hostile and aggressive policy towards Armenia since the restoration of independence back in 1991. Turkey rejected the establishment of diplomatic relations, it closed border with Armenia and pursued increasingly hostile policy against Armenia. Moreover, Turkey directly got involved in the Azerbaijani aggression against the people of Nagorno-Karabakh by dispatching thousands of foreign terrorist fighters to our region.
We do hope that this very important statement by the President of the US will pave the way for dialogue and eventually to the normalization of relations. It will also contribute to the regional peace and stability.
Question: How will this play towards the possible normalization of relations? Some say the statement will play into President Erdogan’s hands by winning him public support against the US.
Ara Aivazian: Well, I believe this creates a ground for Turkish society to face the pages of their history. And also it induces the society to question the tragic pages of their history. I believe it will also create ground for dialogue between two neighboring countries. Abyss was created between two neighbouring countries and I believe this will be a very important step for normalization of our relations.