Tevan J. Poghosyan: Astana meeting can be a serious step towards the peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict

An exclusive interview with the member of the Parliament, National Assembly of Armenia Mr. Tevan J. Poghosyan.


1. In the coming year the parliamentary elections to be held in Armenia. How can they influence the foreign policy of Armenia?


Traditionally elections in Armenia are characterized with intense campaigning of almost all major parties, each of which presents their own views on Armenia’s foreign policy. For some specific issues approaches of different parties are rather similar. However, there are critical differences as well. Change in foreign policy depends on which party comes to power. 


If there is change of power, there will definitely be some changes. In case the currently ruling party stays in power, no major change will take place. However, there are two issues on which positions will not change regardless of which party comes to power: positions regarding the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and recognition of the Armenian Genocide. 


2 How do You assess the initiative to hold a trilateral meeting in Astana on Syrian problem?


I think we are past the times when the mere fact of holding a meeting could be considered an achievement. We have to assess the results of a meeting. Hence, though at the moment I welcome this initiative, and will welcome any meeting trying to address the issue, it remains yet to be seen what it will yield. That a meeting can take place between various stakeholders involved in the Syrian issue, is already a hopeful sign that the parties might be willing to discuss the possibility of settling the conflict by peaceful means. Presently I just hope that even if the Astana meeting does not result in a solution, it can be a serious step towards the peaceful resolution of the conflict, towards reaching a commitment to negotiate rather than take to arms.


3 What has changed in the past year on the Karabakh issue and what its prospects in 2017?


In the past year, Azerbaijan once again failed to undermine the Armenian side. By initiating a military campaign on April 2-5, 2016, it just triggered more unity among Armenians and strengthened the Armenian side both in the Republic of Armenia and the Artsakh Republic’s. Both accelerate the reforms and upgraded their militaries. There were many lessons that we learned last year, and now there is no any doubt that the Armenian sides have become much stronger. 


Unfortunately, these developments negatively influenced the negotiation process and left 2017 with no prospect for any progress. 






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