My colleague Khatchig Mouradian, the editor of the Armenian Weekly, reported Wednesday that requests to interview Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian while he was in Washington were denied.
This is most troubling, especially at a time when flow of information from official Yerevan is so little, that we, in the business, are forced to decipher through propaganda-laced news reports from Turkey and Azerbaijan to make sense of this so-called “roadmap” to normalization of ties between Turkey and Armenia.
By shutting out interview requests, Nalbandian missed a golden opportunity to discuss this critically important matter and shed much-needed light on whether this roadmap is more than just an agreement to negotiate or does it come with detrimental strings attached for Armenia. It would have also served as a way for Armenia to lay to rest the speculations and disinformation surrounding this matter and, once and for all, lifting the veil of secrecy that has shrouded the talks-especially from the Armenian government.
Now, more than ever, the need for transparency and frankness with the Armenian people is of utmost importance.
Nalbandian’s refusal to discuss with the Armenian press this and other matters of interest to our readers calls into serious question the strategy being pursued by the Armenian authorities and further clouds the already murky atmosphere created after the April 22 announcement of the “roadmap” deal.
Aside from the three burning questions on whether there’s been an agreement to establish a historical commission to discuss the Genocide, Armenia’s recognition of the Kars treaty and a parallel resolution to the Karabakh conflict, Mouradian probably had a series of other related and important questions for Nalbandian.
Here are a few examples:
If the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide is a stated priority in Armenia’s foreign policy, how then can Armenia’s president tell the Wall Street Journal that he was not asking President Obama to recognize the Genocide?
Did President Obama, in fact, use his campaign pledge as a bargaining chip to ensure that US interests were realized?
What role does the foreign ministry envision the Diaspora playing in this “roadmap” process?
Will the appointment of a new foreign minister in Turkey impact the talks?
How is the foreign ministry dealing with the vocal opposition by Karabakh Armenians to this effort and are their concerns being taken into account during the-called “fruitful” discussions with Clinton and others?
Why the secrecy?
Since the press was shut out of this process and any semblance of frank dialogue was denied, it leaves us to wonder about these and other questions that are related to the “roadmap.”
What would you ask Eduard Nalbandian if you had a chance to interview him? Feel free to comment!