Tuesday, 12 November

Javakhk: A Non-Issue in Armenia's April Parliamentary Election

During the last parliamentary election in Armenia, in 2012, only two parties mentioned Javakhk, an Armenian populated region of Georgia, in their campaign platforms.

The two were the Heritage Party and the ARF.

Five years on, for the parliamentary election scheduled for April 2, only one party, the ARF, has anything to say about Javakhk.

Javakhk appears in reference to the party’s foreign policy position.

“To build relations with Georgia based on friendship and mutual respect for national interests. Friendly relations will positively impact the exercise of full rights of Armenians of Javakhk and in Georgia.”

The ORO Alliance (Seyran Ohanian, Raffi Hovannisian and Vardan Oskanian) says its platform includes all issues of concern to citizens of Armenians.

Since the ORO alliance has nothing specific to say about Javakhk, this writer can only assume that the alliance believes Javakhk and the problems faced by Armenians there, are of no concern to citizens in Armenia.

The ORO states that the establishment of relations with neighbors based on a new qualitive level of friendship is a prime issue of Armenia’s foreign policy. The alliance says that if Armenia can play a pivotal role in the region and ensure its inclusion in major economic projects if it takes a more proactive role.

The YELK (Exit) Alliance says it will take all necessary steps to forge friendly and mutually conducive relations with all of Armenia’s neighbors, as well as with the USA, the EU, China, Russia, India and the Middle East.

The alliance also talks about the need for greater links with the Armenian diaspora.

The Azat (Free) Democrats, stress a diversified foreign policy based on national interests.

“Georgia, given its geographic and political stance, and in terms of communications, is of strategic importance linking Armenia to Europe. There is no alternative but to expand and deepen relations with Georgia.”

The Tsarukyan Alliance places importance on bringing traditional diasporan organizations and others into the equation when drafting specific programs of Armenia’s foreign policy.

The Armenian Renaissance Party proposes strengthening the Armenia-Iran-Georgia-Russia energy network.

The Republican Party of Armenia has more native Javakhk candidates on its ticket than any other party or alliance on the ballot.

Nevertheless, the party platform has nothing to say about Javakhk.

The above review shows that Javakhk is a blip on the screen for most parties and alliances in the running on April 2.

Most of them view relations with Georgia in terms of economic interests. What happens to the Armenians of Javakhk is of little concern to them.

Javakhk, an historic province of Armenia, has been relegated as just another “diaspora” matter of relative insignificance. The preservation of Javakhk’s Armenian identity has become a non-issue.

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