‘‘Political language. . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind”George Orwell
Elected directly by people, parliament members are responsible for making laws and monitoring the performance of the government. And while they represent political parties, they represent the people of the country in the first place.
Parliament members are expected to address people’s concerns and issues. Every speech of a parliament member is supposedly the reflection of the ideas of those who have voted for them. And though some voters are rather difficult people and the majority of them are rarely pleased with the MP they have voted for, it is every politician’s job to make an effort toward the welfare of the country and its people.
With so much responsibility, it is not surprising that parliament members are severely criticized when they fail.
As a result of the destructive outcome of the 44-day war and the country facing numerous political and economic issues, Armenians are now more than ever involved in the political processes.
They have become demanding of all figures involved in the internal and external political affairs of the country, including the members of parliament.
Anush Begloian, representing the ‘Civil Contract’ party, keeps receiving backlash for her comments that the public finds to be insensitive and pro-Azerbaijan.
Begloian’s Failed Speech at an International Conference
Everything started with Anush Begloian’s speech at an online conference call of a popular regional TV Show Border Zone. Begloian made a rather insensitive comment on the current situation.
The parliament member called for the sides ‘to look into the future and not return into the endless disputes’ about whose land is Artsakh historically. She also stated that it doesn’t matter who started the war. The government of Armenia is against any type of military conflict with Azerbaijan for now and for the future.
According to Begloian, although social media creates an impression that Armenians long for revenge, the foreign policy of the acting government of Armenia is all about stabilizing the region.
Since September 27, 2020, when the war started, and to this day Armenians are trying to prove to the international public that it was Azerbaijan that launched a large-scale offensive along the entire border with the Republic of Artsakh.
The people of Armenia and Artsakh consider the battle to be lost but not the war, with hopes to return to their motherland someday in the future. Thus, the speech of parliament member Anush Begloian, representing Armenia at the conference, couldn’t be more contradicting the stance of the Armenian people on the current situation.
Um I think that we have to look into the future not to return to this uh endless dispute of who’s uh who was the first uh who is this territory historical overviews etcetera because here as you know, Armenians are the best for uh citing many writers and doing all these uh kind of historical overviews. I don’t want to enter into this because it’s uh we have been doing this both sides for 30 years and it brought us to the world. Uh regarding the so uh regarding the uh uh Ravens and other kind of announcements. I have to say that Armenia is a democratic country and a lot of uh different political forces, different groups uh including nationalistic groups including uh many, you know uh politically uh engaged and uh maybe uh driven by the by the various motives groups can uh announce anything they want. But uh I would like to call everyone to listen to the announcements and to the uh statements made by the ruling party by the um by the authorities by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister’s Office, which uh and also members of Parliament, which has clearly stated that Ravens and all kind of military solutions and living for revenge is not something that are. And Armenian people want and Armenian state is meant to be so that uh when um the Armenian media is monitored, it may uh create the wrong impression that this is something that is uh that is a position of um uh our uh authorities, which is absolutely not. I would like to call everyone to follow, official sources and uh websites and official comments of the of the. Uh of uh our uh ministry and Prime Minister of whatever what about the Russian peacekeepers uh very important, uh also to accept that they are already in the region. What has brought them here is already over. We cannot change this reality so they are here and since they are here and we will be here for 5 years. we have to try and use this uh time to make sure that uh Armenians and whether. As a bass who we would like to return to their uh to also as a baja people will uh learn to live in peace and uh also with the sense of security or trust to each other. So depending on the success of this endeavor, uh we will have uh foreign forces in the region either for another 5 years or we we will have uh region secure and uh and uh. Stable for the for the years uh to come and uh regarding the Turkey I was um very interested to hear uh mister ID. doctor’s comments and we have been hearing the vibes from Turkey and calls for maybe reconciliation and establishment of the trust that has been missing since uh 30 years. And so we think that this is the uh really. Complicated and interesting times that we will be living together and maybe if uh. If the region will become um maybe this balanced and the military exercises in the region will not be needed the countries maybe it will be a start of the good uh good process of uh of a dialogue not only on the people uh level, but also on the government’s level. Thank you.
The Public Reaction and What Made It Worse
The pro-Azerbaijan speech of Anush Begloian caused people to gather near the parliament building in Yerevan, calling her a traitor and throwing around posters featuring her face.
And as if this wasn’t enough, Begloian added more fuel to the fire trying to clarify the statement she made during the online conference.
She denied having said that there is no need to dig deeper into how the conflict started and that her statement was simply taken out of context.
The parliament member kept denying her own words even when the journalist played the video recording of her speech.
What agitated the public even more was that Begloian, trying to prove that her speech was misinterpreted, called Shushi, the symbolic city of Artsakh, Shusha. The latter is the Azerbaijani name for the city.
Why This Could Be Expected?
It seems like all of this was to be expected considering Begloian’s past interviews. In an interview in 2019, Begloian, as a member of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations of Armenia, disclosed her stance on the issue of Artsakh, referring to supporting Artsakh as a mere obligation. She made it clear that the geopolitical situation of Armenia called for being on good terms with all countries of the region, including Azerbaijan, despite its violent and deconstructive claims.
Begloian claimed that she was a communication specialist with work experience in international organizations and that her goal was to use her expertise to improve the country’s diplomatic relations. She also emphasized the role of the parliament in molding public opinion.
A rather ironic claim considering Begloian’s pro-Azerbaijan statements at present.
Aside from being a communication expert, though she would certainly benefit from a richer educational background, Begloian is also an international expert and consultant on advocacy.
In 2016, Begloian was an international expert in the Eastern Partnership Culture and Creativity Programme by the EU. The program was aimed at supporting humanitarian, cultural, and economic development in several countries of the region, including Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Within the framework of the project, a video of Anush Begloian explaining the essence of advocacy was published. In the video Advocacy – What is advocacy with Anush Begloian, the unassertive tone of voice,insecure gait, and even failing to pronounce the term advocacy properly, the acting member of parliament doesn’t inspire much confidence as an expert in the field.
The presence of Armenian professionals in such international programmes is certainly important. Thus, those representing the country should make their best effort to be presentable.
An attention-worthy and also frustrating detail for the Armenian public in Begloian’s career as an advocate that she once used her expertise to defend Turkey’s interests in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2018.
Had Turkey not been Armenia’s historical enemy and had its contribution to Azerbaijan winning the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh War not been that big, the public would’ve reacted differently. Now, when people are scrutinizing every line in her biography, such discoveries only feed the scandal.
After the big scandal that revolved around parliament member Anush Begloian, the public would at least expect her to leave her position in the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations. Instead, there is confirmed information about Begloian becoming the ambassador of Armenia to the United Kingdom.