, ARMENIA'S FIRST MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
For 26 days, a narrow and winding road that connects Armenia to the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh—also known as Mountainous, or "Nagorniy," Karabagh—has been blocked by state-sanctioned Azerbaijani activists. Russian peacekeepers charged with maintaining the humanitarian corridor do not intervene. European monitors do not show. Food and medical supplies are barred from entering Artsakh. The republic, unrecognized, is also isolated.
The enemy has already invaded the territory of our sovereign state, some time ago and again today.
We are not complete in terms of our territory, people or spirit.
The enemy has also entered our lifestyle, affecting us internally, penetrating every layer of our public life. It has put people in boxes, dividing into us and them, black and white, incumbents and formers, those who come from this and that region, living and dead.
One may say it is not the right time to protest. However, I am the first to state - it is the time to get united.
Nevertheless, we cannot unify under the guidance of the incumbent ruler, since he is neither a leader, nor a commander-in-chief, nor a unifier, nor a justice server.
He is the main and nominal responsible and the offender who is to blame for the repeated violation-concession of the territorial integrity of the Republic of Armenia, its restriction of sovereignty, the loss of most part of Artsakh and, in fact, its border with Armenia, the martyrs of our golden generation, including the sacrifice of each of today's invaluable guys.
While Ilham Aliyev stands before the international court as a war criminal, it is necessary that first Nikol Pashinyan and then the rest answer in the national court of justice.
The new battle of Sardarapat, patriarch Hayk’s battle in its improbability, can only take place in spite of him, never with his presence.
I mourn and disapprove that I have to make this record today, but this is the only way to unity, hope, dignity and nationwide historical salvation.
For the sake of Faith and for the sake of Homeland, let's decide, protect and live.
Raffi K. Hovannisian
September 13, 2022
Aghavno, Artsakh Republic Border Post—En route last night to Stepanakert to attend his grandson’s baptism, Armenia’s first foreign minister and Heritage Party founder Raffi K. Hovannisian was officially prevented from entering the territory of the Republic of Artsakh (Mountainous Karabagh) by soldiers of the Russian peacekeeping contingent.
Armenia welcomes Turkey's recent words toward the goal of normalization of bilateral relations. But it is concrete actions that matter—without preconditions, of course.
We expect, in the best of faith, that Turkey might forthwith:
a) execute a simple memorandum, based on fundamental UN principles, agreeing to establish diplomatical ties and embassies in the nations' capital cities;
b) reopen the transportation and communication passages it unilaterally closed nearly thirty years ago;
c) use this historic diplomatic relationship to give resolution, inter alia, to the outstanding watershed issues inherited from the past, including recognition of and restitution for the Genocide (Tseghaspanutiun) and Great Dispossession (Mets Hayrenazrkum) of the Armenian people, the guaranteed right of return to a National Hearth for all descendants of the victims and survivors, and the restoration of desecrated cultural heritage (a few examples of which you have thankfully attended to), all en route to a comprehensive normalization of relations, a true reconciliation between peoples, and a lawful and binding delimitation of the interstate frontier;
d) together with the other state of your "one nation" identity, remove your military forces from the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, including the twenty-one kilometers of the Goris-Kapan highway;
e) withdraw your troops from Shushi, Hadrut and other occupied areas as well, rendering them a secure neutral zone within the Republic of Artsakh (Mountainous Karabagh) and allowing refugees of all nationalities to return to their places of origin;
f) return all remaining prisoners of war and civilians being held in the other state of your one nation;
g) and ensure that the other state of your one nation resumes, under OSCE auspices, civilized negotiations with the duly-elected government of the Republic of Artsakh for a full and final settlement of the conflict.
This, sir, is the roadmap to long-term peace and dignity. Subjugation and denial, drones and bayraktars, might give you a day, a decade, a century of petty human glory. But the Empire, when built on injustice and untruth, shall fall. God is not Muslim or Christian or Jewish.
Stand down, fellow man, the battle is not the war.
Raffi K. Hovannisian
First Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Armenia
27 July 2022
Rotterdam, Netherlands—Raffi K. Hovannisian, Heritage Party co-founder and Armenia’s first foreign minister, addressed the European People’s Party’s Political Assembly and then the plenary session of its Congress held here between May 30 and June 1.