Armenia-Turkey and Armenian-Turkish Relations
a) Genocide Recognition
For the last four decades, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun and its affiliates have led the worldwide efforts for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. The ARF believes that Turkish-Armenian relations cannot develop healthily so long as Turkey continues to deny the fact of the Armenian Genocide and its responsibility in that regard. The recognition by Turkey of its responsibility in the Armenian Genocide would be a minimal assurance that it would not resort to the same methods, and would lead to a mutually beneficial dialogue.
The blockade enforced by Turkey against Armenia since 1993 is an expression of hostility, which has been also demonstrated by the fact that Turkey has refused to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia since Armenia’s independence in 1991. Turkey has set preconditions for lifting the blockade. The ARF-D’s position is that Armenia should not give in to those preconditions. Hence, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun has been against the protocols signed on October 10, 2009, in Zurich, between Armenia and Turkey, because as they stand, the protocols satisfy Turkey’s preconditions.
c) Armenian Rights
The geopolitical constraints Armenia faces today are a direct consequence of the Armenian Genocide and Turkish aggression against Armenia in 1920. Armenia and Armenians have their individual, collective and national rights violated by Turkey. The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun believes that Turkey should be encouraged by its allies and the international community to recognize these rights.
Karabagh is an integral part of Armenia and the ARF has pursued its reunification with Armenia. The annexation of Karabagh to Azerbaijan was a result of arbitrary machinations by Stalin in the early 1920s and the people of Karabagh have never accepted that arrangement. During Soviet rule, at every opportunity, and most recently in 1988, the majority of the Karabagh population had peacefully raised their quest for reunification with Armenia; Azerbaijan responded by violence not only in Karabagh, but all over Azerbaijan. In Karabagh, Armenians defended themselves and in 1991, declared the formation of the Mountainous Karabagh Republic. A just and lasting resolution of the Karabagh conflict should guarantee security and viability for Karabagh and Armenia. Eventually, the de facto reunification with Armenia should be granted de jure recognition. Attaining this recognition is a priority for the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun.
Javakhk and Georgia
Another region of major concern for the ARF is the historically Armenian region of Javakhk (Samtskhe-Javakheti) in Georgia. Successive ARF World Congresses, attaching great importance to close Georgian-Armenian relations, have adopted a pragmatic approach to the resolution of political, socio-economic and cultural problems facing the Armenians of Javakhk. ARF World Congresses have agreed with the demands raised by the Armenians of Javakhk that a Javakhk with a high degree of self-government within a federal Georgia would be able to sustain itself and would become a strong link in Georgian-Armenian relations.