Armenian Foreign Minister explains his resignation
Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Ayvazyan resigned on May 27, immediately after the acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan made an official proposal to Azerbaijan to de-escalate the situation on the border. Pashinyan proposed to mutually withdraw troops from the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and deploy international observers from Russia or two other countries of the OSCE Minsk Group – the United States and France, to the area.
Armenian political scientists assessed Ayvazyan’s resignation as a sign of his categorical disagreement with Pashinyan’s proposal.
No official explanation of the reasons behind the resignation of the foreign minister has been provided until May 31, when, during a farewell meeting with Foreign Ministry officials, Ara Ayvazyan broke the silence.
In his address to the diplomats, Ayvazyan explained that he resigned so that there would be no doubt that the ministry could approve steps that contradict national interests of the country.
The current government of Armenia immediately reacted to the ex-minister’s speech. Press Secretary of the Acting Prime Minister Mane Gevorgyan stated that the national interests of the country dictate that Mr. Ayvazyan provides an official explanation:
“Who exactly, when, where and how is going to take some steps or make a decision that runs counter to our state and national interests?”
Ara Ayvazyan has not yet clarified anything, but two more employees of the ministry have resigned shortly after he decided to leave his post: Deputy Minister Gagik Galachyan and Press Secretary Anna Naghdalyan.
Moreover, while announcing her resignation, Anna Naghdalyan stressed that it was an honor for her to work with such experienced diplomats and patriots as the two former foreign ministers Ara Ayvazyan and Zohrab Mnatsakanyan. The latter, according to experts, also resigned due to disagreements with Nikol Pashinyan.
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Former FM’s speech
“I made this decision with great difficulty, but when I agreed to the post of foreign minister, there was one principle guiding me: this ministry must preserve our sovereignty, our independence, our state, and national interests.
My resignation is caused by this reason exactly, to make sure that there is never any doubt that our ministry could take any steps or agree to any ideas or initiatives that would go against our statehood, our national and state interests”, Ayvazyan told his former colleagues.
He stressed that during his time serving as the foreign minister of the country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has done important and difficult work. Ayvazyan added that for international partners, it is obvious that Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Armenians were not defeated:
“Our enemies understand this too. It is equally important that in these troubling days we have become a structure that has become understandable to our society, our voice has become more and more audible, and our people trust us more than ever”.
Ara Ayvazyan only briefly served as foreign minister. He was appointed to this position in November 2020 when his predecessor Zohrab Mnatsakanyan resigned.
Political scientist Hrant Mikaelyan, commenting on the resignation of Ara Ayvazyan, recalled a document recently published on the Internet, according to which Armenia is allegedly preparing to surrender part of its territories to Azerbaijan. It was partially “declassified” by Mikael Minasyan, the former ambassador to the Vatican and the son-in-law of the ex-President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan.
Minasyan did not specify where he obtained the document from but stated that the acting prime minister agreed to conduct demarcation and territorial concessions, adding that Nikol Pashinyan is doing this instead of withdrawing Azerbaijani servicemen from the territory of Armenia, who since May 12 have moved deep into the country in the direction of the Syunik and Gegharkunik regions and refuse to retreat, despite Armenia’s repeated demands.
Minasyan also warned that the Armenian leadership is discussing the transfer of five villages of the Tavush region and one village of the Ararat region to Azerbaijan.
However, Nikol Pashinyan, in response, assured that the document only mentions the possibility of starting the demarcation of borders and not the concessions of territories.
Political scientist Hrant Mikaelyan also commented on the matter:
“The current regime has launched a propaganda campaign to support the decision to surrender territories, another surrender. Ara Ayvazyan publicly expressed his disagreement and announced that the Foreign Ministry had nothing to do with this process.
Ara Ayvazyan apparently resisted another surrender, but [President of Azerbaijan] Aliyev has set Nikol Pashinyan to achieve this before the elections [scheduled for June 20], since there is a high likelihood of him losing. Pashinyan, within the framework of his own post-truth logic, announced that this document is based solely on the interests of Armenia, so that gullible people would believe him again, assuming that the prime minister cannot lie to them.
However, the legal status of Pashinyan is also not entirely clear – he is currently an acting prime minister while having resigned, he should not have continued serving as prime minister and, as a result, the question arises, how competent is Pashinyan to resolve such issues? Obviously not competent at all, and, moreover, the already de facto dissolved parliament should do it instead.
Rumors that Ara Ayvazyan, together with his deputies, had resigned, appeared 5 days ago, but then they were not confirmed. Now he really left, which signals that he has lost and could not prevent Pashinyan’s next surrender”.