YEREVAN (YERKIR) – At their August 24 meeting in Beirut, representatives of the three Armenian political parties of Lebanon – the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Social Democratic Hnchak Party and Liberal Democratic Party – issued a statement urging the Lebanese government to reject any participation of Turkish troops in the international forces to be deployed in Lebanon.
Below is the text of the statement.
We, the leaders of the three Armenian political parties, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Social Democratic Hnchak Party and Liberal Democratic Party, deeply appreciate the efforts of the Lebanese government to set a ceasefire, stop the war bloodshed, establish peace and stability and restore what has been destroyed in the recent Israeli attacks on Lebanon.
We also welcome the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 that intends to increase the number of the peacekeepers in South Lebanon. We, however, voice the Lebanese Armenian community’s rejection of the idea to include Turkish troops in the peacekeeping forces because:
a. Participation of Turkish troops in the international forces breaches the principle of impartiality for international forces and therefore would obstruct the efforts of establishing peace and stability in Lebanon. No country participating in the international forces should be an ally of a conflict party. Turkey, however, has a history of enmity with many countries and nations, and its history demonstrates the bloody core of its relations with those nations. In addition, Turkey has a military treaty with Israel which also includes a cooperation of special services. That treaty threatens the peace process in the region, and Turkey’s biased foreign policy makes us mistrust Turkey.
b. Turkey continues its occupation of Cyprus, blockade of Armenia and refuses to recognize the 1915 Armenian Genocide it had perpetrated and apologize for that crime.
c. Turkey continues to violate human rights and rights of minorities making it ineligible for peacekeeping mission.
d. There is no doubt that any country participating in international forces should be accepted by the Lebanese public: Turkey’s history of violence in Lebanon does not help that country to deserve such acceptance considering that the Lebanese people in its collective memory still endures the consequences of the Turkish crimes and tyranny.
Taking into account these realities, we reaffirm our opposition and refusal to inclusion of Turkish troops in the peacekeeping forces to be deployed in South Lebanon and demand that the Lebanese government turn down the inclusion of the Turkish troops in those forces in support of the Lebanese Armenian community that is an important portion of the Lebanese society.
In this letter addressed to the Lebanese government, we demand that the Lebanese government include the Armenian position in its agenda, taking into account that all the communities in Lebanon should be respected.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Social Democratic Hnchak Party
Liberal Democratic Party