The Treaty of Sèvres has a significant place in the modern history of the Armenian people, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan says.
“It continues to be the subject of scientific research and analysis. Therefore, it is very important for our scientists’ impartial analysis of this document, signed a century ago, and the events that preceded it, to be available to both our people and the wider international community,” PM Pashinyan said n an address to the participants of the scientific conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Treaty.
“The Treaty of Sèvres is a historical fact. It remains so to this day,” the Prime Minister said.
What is the use of this document for the Armenian people? Why is it still in the center of our attention?
First, Pashinyan says, the Treaty of Sèvres was based on the aftermath of World War I, one of the most dramatic pages in human history, almost two years after its end.
“Just as the Treaty of Versailles established peace in Europe, so the Treaty of Sèvres was to establish peace in the former Central Asian territories of the Ottoman Empire. It put an end to the suffering and deprivation of the peoples of the region because of the war. It signaled the end of the “cursed years,” the PM said.
“Like the Treaty of Versailles in Europe, the Treaty of Sèvres formed a new system of interstate relations in the region. It introduced new principles and values, not only for peace but also for justice in Central Asia,” he added.
The contract was based on the most advanced ideas of the time. The key points here were the principle of self-determination and equality of nations. It put an end to the centuries-old slavery imposed by empires, giving freedom and independence to the peoples of the region.
“Moreover, by granting the right to establish nation-states in historical territories, it created favorable conditions for the further coexistence of the Muslim and Christian peoples, the preservation and further development of the region’s civilizational diversity,” PM Pashinyan noted.
Second, he, said, the Treaty of Sèvres is the international document that recognized and enshrined Armenia’s independence.
“The Republic of Armenia acted as an equal party to that document. Centuries after the loss of independence, the Armenian authorities for the first time signed an international treaty with the great powers of the world. The Republic of Armenia was recognized as a full member of international relations, an equal subject of international law, within the limits set out in the Treaty,” he stated.
“By being a party to the treaty, the contribution of Armenia, the Armenian people to the victory of the Allies in World War I and the establishment of peace was being recognized. It was emphasized that the role of the Armenian people in international relations and in the post-war world governance was properly assessed,” he added.
“Third, the Treaty of Sèvres, in its Article 89, established the indisputable historical connection of the Armenian people with the Armenian Highlands, where the Armenian people was born, lived, created statehood and culture for millennia,” PM Pashinyan emphasized.
And finally, he said, the Treaty of Sèvres was signed in the period following the years of the Armenian Genocide, when the Ottoman Empire was trying to resolve the “Armenian Question” by annihilating the Armenian people.
“The Armenian people were subjected to the most cruel and inhuman suffering. The losses we suffered were enormous. Meanwhile, the Treaty of Sèvres paved the way for overcoming the consequences of the genocide. The “Armenian Question” was being justly resolved in the historical cradle of the Armenian people through the creation of an independent state. Historical justice was being restored. Favorable conditions were being created for the restoration of our people’s economic and demographic potential, its normal development and progress,” the Prime Minister stated.
“Although the Treaty of Sèvres was never implemented, it continues to exist as a historical fact that reflects our path to the restoration of an independent state. It is our duty to remember it, to realize it, to keep its advice,” he concluded.