By Edmond Y. Azadian
Armenians had always assumed that the world had to empathize with our fate as a victim nation and support us in our battle for the recognition of the Genocide. Therefore, it took a long time to wake up to the harsh realities of international diplomacy.
No individual nor nation would support a victim unless they see a selfish interest in the plight of the victim. This axiom has been true all through history. And the Armenian elite has failed to see that Europe and Russia have pursued a course of self interest, even before the Genocide, whenever they decided to intervene in the Ottoman rule, to improve the lives of subject nations.
They were after capitulations or business concessions from the sultans. Neither our Christian faith nor our Europeanized culture have played any role in major powers’ interest in the plight of Armenians.
A case in point was the San Stefano conference of 1878. At that time Russia had captured almost all historic Armenian territories, and a very favorable treaty was signed. It was too good to be true for the Armenians. But a few months later, Russia had to yield at the Berlin conference in the face of British determination to push back Moscow from the control of warm-water seaports.
That diplomatic game continues to this day. Before the accession negotiations began with Turkey, the European Union insisted on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide as a precondition. However, in recent talks, no mention is made of the Genocide. Europe has softened its stand on Turkey’s admission to the EU, and the 27-member union has no unified political stand on the issue, allowing Turkey to use one member country against another, thus promoting its own agenda.