Speech of President Armenak Abrahamyan on the occasion of the 16th anniversary of the formation of the National Council of Western Armenia

In memory of Leonid Azgaldian and Creation of the National Council of Western Armenia

Why was the National Council of Armenians of Western Armenia established?

To stop the annihilation of the Armenian people of Western Armenia.

Why was the Declaration of the National Council of Armenians of Western Armenia proclaimed in Shushi? In memory of Zoravar Andranik as Turkish troops occupied the northern part of the Persian territory in the summer of 1918, creating a field of advance towards Baku.

Occupying the Iranian cities of Maku, Salmast, Tabriz, Serab, Ardabil and Khoy in particular, the Turks intended to send new troops to Persia via the Alexandropol-Julfa railway to attack Baku. But, Andranik’s detachments cut the railway in Nakhichevan and the Turkish garrison was captured at Julfa. During the Khoy period, Armenian forces unexpectedly struck a Turkish army stationed in northwestern Iran, forcing the Turks to stop their attack on Baku and send large forces against Andranik.

The Turks suffered heavy losses, but the arrival of additional forces posed a threat to Armenian division. Under these conditions, Andranik was forced to leave Khoy and, breaking the blockade, he withdrew to Julfa.

Then, under pressure from a large number of Turkish troops, General Andranik was forced to withdraw from Nakhichevan and to penetrate Mount Zangezur, with the aim of breaking through and reaching Baku via Artsakh and blocking the retreating Turkish army.

Some events took place in December, before the perspective of the British command on the Artsakh issue became clear.

On December 8, representative of Thomson Captain Serraid, arrived in Shushi with an officer, in four cars, each with four soldiers.

According to other sources, 50 British soldiers entered Shushi for the first time. The captain said that he had come to help the poor of Artsakh and to establish peace between the two peoples, and that a British army would soon arrive for the same purpose.

One of Serraid’s first acts was to demand that Shushi’s newly arrived regiment disarm and surrender its weapons. The Interim Council, presenting the history of the formation of the regiment, rejected his demand.

According to the Mudros cease-fire agreement (30 October 1918, between the Allies and Turkey on the island of Lemnos, Mudros), the Turkish army should have left the Transcaucasus, but the reality was different.

Andranik addressed the Karabakh command with an order to stop hostilities. The Armenian side obeyed the order in December 1918.

For this reason, Shushi remained under confiscation for 86 years.

What does the Yerznka ceasefire of December 18, 1917, have to do with the establishment of the National Council of Armenians of Western Armenia?

Without the Yerznka ceasefire (December 18, 1917), there would never have been a right of self-determination for the Armenians of Western Armenia to recognize the terms of peace, until independence in accordance with international law.

How are the Russian decree of December 29, 1917 (according to the new timetable, January 11, 1918)[1] and the Declaration of the Right of the Armenians of Western Armenia to Self-Determination related?

The Declaration on the Right of the Armenians of Western Armenia to Self-Determination presents articles that offer the possibility of implementing the Russian decree and other state recognitions.

The centenary of the Russian decree, which recognizes the right of the Armenians of Western Armenia to self-determination before independence, is an opportunity to recall the content of each article.