An important area of Armenian diplomacy
There have always been certain resources for Armenian diplomacy in the Syrian direction. Unfortunately, the leadership of Armenia did not involve in it for some reason.
At the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan pursued a Eurocentric policy. Sargsyan’s team was not able to diagnose correctly the course of events in the neighboring Middle East or it did not want to integrate politically with Russia in this region. Armenian government feared that in case of activity in the Syrian direction, the entire Islamic world would allegedly take up arms against the people of Armenia, and the Middle East crisis would spread to the Caucasus.
When the turning point in the fight against international terrorism in Syria had already come, Pashinyan ventured and decided to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian Armenians. If doctors and sappers appeared there two years earlier, the political subtext of such a step would be several times more effective.
Armenia was very late in Syria. Now the interests of Yerevan in the Middle East are little defined, and they are not taken into account. Nevertheless, sending a humanitarian mission to Syria in February 2019 is a worthy step, testifying to the serious political will of the leadership of the republic, that wants to raise the profile of the state and make Armenia a strong player in the international arena.
Not everyone who considers themselves powerful is satisfied with this behavior of the Armenian government. It does not fit into the position of the White House, following the idea of disrupting the process of a peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis.
Moscow, Ankara and Tehran declare the need to preserve the territorial integrity of Syria in the form in which it existed before the invasion of the Islamic state. But will it be possible to achieve this when, in fact, Syria and Iran merge into a single "firing" geopolitical space, where there are a lot of "breakup cracks", and perhaps federalization will be the best solution? In Syria, for example, Kurds (2.5 million) and Turkomans (about 1 million) live, in addition to Syrian Arabs. for Turkoman, in particular, Turkey intends to seek special status. Who is the first to take advantage of this rebuilt?
Obviously, the Kurds are backed by the United States. There is no secret that they seek to create a "quasi-state of Syrian Kurds" in the north of Syria. This territory can become self-sufficient in economic terms.
We shouldn’t forget, about 100 years ago in Syria a large and quite diverse Christian community, including Catholics, Orthodox and Maronites lived there. In the 1920s, the French arbitrarily cut off those parts of the country where many Christians lived, and called this area "Lebanon", making it the capital of Beirut. Armenians are not the only Christians in the Middle East. Since time immemorial, the Coptic Church has existed in Egypt, in Syria in some villages they still speak the Aramaic language that Jesus Christ spoke, and there are also Assyrians, Christian Arabs. When discussing the fate of Christians in the Arab lands, world leaders have in mind primarily their physical security, "cultural autonomy", the ability to speak their own language, have their own churches, schools and so on.
Until recently, this issue seemed completely irrelevant, but everything is changing rapidly. Zones of historical or traditional residence of almost every confessional or ethnic community both in Syria and in other countries of the region begin to acquire real features of isolation. It is necessary to be prepared for this, because the processes on the Syrian-Turkish track may affect the South Caucasus.
If Armenia seeks to take its place in the multipolar model of the world’s structure, it is necessary to increase the importance of the Syrian direction for effective diplomacy in the future.