By Asbed Kotchikian
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
On October 21, an open letter addressed to Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan (see below) was sent to more than 110 academics and scholars in Armenia, North and South Americas, Middle East and Europe. The main concern of this initiative was that the military solution of the Karabakh war was not in favor of Armenia, and that a diplomatic solution (even with major concessions) was better than war where the human and territorial losses would be devastating for Armenia and Artskah.
The operating logic of initiating the open letter was that if PM Pashinyan was made aware that there are those who support such diplomatic solution (even with concessions), he might view such support as a lifeline to counterbalance the “fight till the end” rhetoric that was prevalent in Armenia and the diaspora. This was based on information that in fact the PM was seriously considering such a path and that if he felt that there was at least a significant segment of Armenian scholars and intellectuals who would support a negotiated settlement, he would be in a better position to choose that route. Furthermore, the timing of the open letter coincided with as similar initiative taken by the three former presidents of Armenia who offered Pashinyan public support if he were to take the diplomatic route, thus sharing the burden of such an action.
Out of the 116 individuals who received the letter via email, only 15 endorsed it. Several individuals responded by questioning the prudence of such a move, and even the sanity and ethics of such a campaign. The overwhelming majority did not respond.
The letter was to be published on October 21 in a Yerevan-based Armenian language newspaper, but was retracted from circulation because the news from Yerevan on the same morning carried a public statement from the prime minister in which he announced that “the Karabakh issue, at least at this stage, has no diplomatic solution.”