I came across today a Facebook group which, according to its description, is “dedicated to the promotion of using correct maps of Armenia and Artsakh.” The group’s description further runs:
When using or displaying a map of Armenia, Artsakh should not be left out! They are Armenian lands that should be properly included into every single map published. We live there, we govern it, we liberated it and therefore it is an integral part of the Armenian world.
With rather detailed descriptions, the group further explains the use of the terms ‘correct’ and ‘incorrect’ maps, saying the ‘correct’ one should “show Armenia and Artsakh as united” and not depict Karabakh “as an enclave, which is not the case.”
A while back ago, I remember the Armenian blogging community was actively campaigning to ensure, that the Armenian TV companies, Weather forcast programs, news websites have the ‘correct’ map of Armenia. This is quite understandable, especially considering the enormous efforts and activity Azerbaijan is putting into making sure, that all maps of Azerbaijan published around the world, in all kinds of maps, encyclopedias and information websites have their version of the ‘correct’ map.
What I don’t understand is – where does all this recent boost in hard-line, no-negotiable, Armenia+Artsakh, no return of ‘liberated territories’ approach come from? A couple of years ago Jirair Sefilyan was put to jail for speaking too loudly about this. What has changed? Why is it, that Jirair Sefilyan, ARF-Dashnaktsutiun, Ramkavars, Heritage (“Zharangutyun”), Karabakh MFA are all now speaking about it? Are we witnessing an unannounced shift in Armenia’s Foreign Policy – whereby the government says something, but works behind the ? Or is it genuine freedom of speech?
PS: Just an observation – these talks have become increasingly active after the announcement about the updated version of the Madrid Document in accordance with the ‘L’Aquila Declaration’ of Presidents Barack Obama, Dmitri Medvedev and Nicholas Sarkozy, we are repeatedly hearing about the need to reject those principles, to abandon the Karabakh negotiation process, to change the Foreign Policy course the country has taken and even calls for the resignation of the Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian.