TODAY.AZ / Politics

Armenians from Syria refuse to stay in Nagorno-Karabakh

08 September 2017 [15:24] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Ali Mustafayev

Syrian Armenians, in search of safe life, are migrating to Armenia, but they discover that they've jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.

Thousands of Syrian Armenians fleeing the war in their country have been welcomed by the Armenian authorities, who have given them citizenship and settled them in the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. But, this resettlement is both a consequence and a possible cause of new conflict and fragility.

Since early 2012, Armenia has been accepting Armenians seeking to escape Syria’s civil strife.  Baku has repeatedly stressed that Armenia is following a dangerous way by settling Syrian refugees in the occupied lands, where they face difficult living conditions and the threat of a looming war.

Resettlement of Syrian Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh is a highly provocative plan on the part of Armenia, and aims to change Nagorno-Karabakh`s demographic structure. By doing this, Armenia seeks to acquire a stronger position in the probable future peace talks. From another perspective, however, this is an attempt to keep the issue unresolved for years.

Moreover, Yerevan aims to promote the flow of capital. Resettlement of Syrian Armenians prompts the diaspora to extend help to these people; therefore, this will promote and improve the image of the separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russian expert, specializing on issues related to the Middle East, Iran and post-Soviet area, member of Russian Academy of Sciences Farhad Ibrahimov believes that Armenia will use the native refugees to repopulate the border territories of the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh.

Noting that the colonization of Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenian refugees from Syria is in direct interests of the Armenian government, he said that these steps are made to provide the frontline with potential military forces in case of another military escalation with Azerbaijan.

Hundreds of young Armenians emigrate from the country each year to escape the military service. Armenian MP Aram Manukyan earlier mentioned that at least 2,000 under-age children leave the country annually. This is only an official statement, while experts urge that the real figure is rather worse.

Syrian Armenians realize this policy and for this reason they divided into groups. One group of Armenians leave Syria, heading for Lebanon, Jordan and the U.S. Another group of immigrants, who have already migrated to Armenia, leave the country for Russia or European countries.

Preference to leave Armenia, which supposed to be a “home” for Syrian Armenians comes not only from the government’s aggressive policy, but from the weak economy and to do business, feed themselves and their families.

Syrian businessman Mikael Karapet, emigrated from Syria with his family after the beginning of the military conflict. His attempts to start a new business in Armenia have failed due to bribary and oligarchs.

Karapet, talking to local media, complained of impossibility of doing business in Armenia, adding that he is one out of a large number of businessmen failing to find their places in local market.

 Not only refugees from Syria, but even Armenian natives are forced to leave the country because of unemployment, poor economic situation and regular violations of human rights. 

Despite the tragic statistic data, Armenia continues to push itself into a grave. Population loss has turned into the norm in this poor country, which tries to populate the occupied lands of Azerbaijan to further pursue its aggressive policy.


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