Statement of the ARF Western USA Central Committee
According to a report in the “Asbarez” newspaper, Lilit Makunts, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to the United States of America had a meeting on April 1 with individuals (led by Carmen Ohanian) who declared themselves to be the “ARF Central Committee of the Western United States” but in reality, are part of a syndicate of former members who were expelled and banned from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation due to severe misconduct. A similar meeting was held between the Republic of Armenia’s Los Angeles Consulate and the same self-proclaimed syndicate in Los Angeles on March 21.
Denying the participation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western U.S.A. Central Committee in the abovementioned meetings, we hereby declare:
A- The last World Congress (General Meeting) of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, with its announcement dated March 8, 2022, clearly proclaimed that the only ARF Entity operating in the Western United States Region of the United States is the Central Committee elected for a term of two years on July 18, 2021 at the ARF Western United States 55th Regional Convention and that this entity is the only one authorized to incorporate the use of the ARF’s name and use its flag, insignia, and anthem.
B- If the R.A. Embassy was in fact oblivious about the identities of members of the ARF’s regional bodies, which would be a serious failure for the state apparatus of any country, it could easily have verified with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or directly from the Supreme Council of the ARF in Armenia, an active Parliamentary opposition party registered in the Republic of Armenia. Or it could have checked with the Yerevan office of the ARF Bureau.
C- Like all Diasporan bodies of the ARF, the Central Committee of the ARF Western United States of America has always maintained a certain level of respect and protocol with all RA diplomatic missions. This attitude stems from our deep understanding of the difference between a ruling party and the institution of the state. Despite this, on its official websites, the RA Embassy, trampling political protocols, national consciousness and basic civility, purported to present a group that has nothing to do with the ARF as if they were representatives of the ARF in the Western United States.
D- This political act by Ambassador Makunts cannot be attributed to happenstance or lack of information. This clearly deliberate act strives to disseminate misinformation and confusion in the Western U.S. Armenian-American community and spread the same confusion to Armenians everywhere, including Armenia, where the authorities are trying to silence the political opposition by all means in order to prepare the country for new capitulations. This is an unacceptable and gross interference in the internal affairs of the Diaspora and reveals the true political orientation and motivations of the rogue group of expelled individuals, which has misled their small band of followers from the beginning.
On behalf of the ARF Western United States of America Central Committee, we call on the relevant bodies of the Republic of Armenia to refrain from attempting to promote illegitimacy in the internal life of the Diaspora and try to display some level of political maturity. At the same time, we call on the Armenian-American community to remain steadfast in our work toward the realization of our common goals, to unite around the ARF, and to continue to contribute in every way possible to the self-determination of Artsakh and the safety and security of Artsakh’s Armenians.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Western United States of America Central Committee