External Developments and New Internal Imperatives for Cooperation


Inviolable for all

Much has been said about the imperative to cooperate in politics. Certainly, it would be naïve to expect a comprehensive cooperative political milieu at the moment, considering the realities we are in. However, it is also obvious that we should have started cooperating already yesterday. There are always issues that unite, issues that are not bargained by any Armenian or any political party.

The political actors should agree on at least two of the priorities of the country’s foreign policy: resolution of Artsakh issue in a way that is beneficial for Armenia, and international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Regardless of internal political issues and of the eventual fate of agreements between political parties, all need to commit to the mutually agreed framework of country’s national interests. Probably all, or almost all would agree with this statement.

New external challenges

The French administrative courts have launched a process, in the result of which several partnership agreements between cities of France and Artsakh are recognized as unconstitutional and are cancelled. Meanwhile, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is about to discuss a draft resolution pregnant with rather negative implications for Armenia.

The above-mentioned court decisions may serve as a precedent and allow Azerbaijan to initiate similar processes in other countries. Possible adoption of the OSCE PA resolution may also turn into a precedent, and inspire Azerbaijan to increase its lobbying speed at OSCE PA.

Armenia faces new challenges in foreign politics, addressing which will require wider consolidation within the country, a joint effort. It is necessary to understand how we can withstand these challenges by forming a possibly wide-spreading frontline; and what contribution each of the political actors might have in this process. Obviously, at least at the level of common values, the Artsakh issue unites us all. Therefore, first and foremost we need to understand: (a) what the current boundaries are between the political actors when they speak of foreign affairs; (b) identify issues where cooperation is possible, and (c) outline the mechanisms which will enable political parties to cooperate.

There is always an alternative

Any problem has a solution if tackled from all possible aspects. No new challenge might appear threatening if you are not alone, if you are many and united. These new challenges in the international arena have numerous alternative solutions. For instance, in France there is quite a fascinating legal norm, according to which court decisions may be based not only on precedents, but also on peer-reviewed research by acclaimed academics. The Armenian side may attempt to use this mechanism, inter alia, to affect the above-mentioned process. As once a French academic used to claim publicly, the conflicting side which will be able to secure internal consolidation and present a declaration signed unanimously both by the government and the opposition proclaiming a joint position on the Artsakh issues, will be the one a step ahead in shaping the international perception of Artsakh issue.

Whether this is a viable option for addressing the mentioned challenges or not, can be confirmed only once it will have been put to a test. Though one thing is clear even now: if united and sharing a common goal, solutions will certainly be found.

The policy brief is elaborated based on the opinions passed by the participants of the off-the-record discussion “New developments in the international arena: New challenges and opportunities for cooperation”. The discussion, which took place on 13 June, 2019, was attended by independent analysts, government officials, and representatives of international development partners.

The round table was organized with the support of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung.



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