“Why not Armenia solve ‘Nagorno Karabakh’ issue with Azerbaijan, before bridging Russia and Europe” – question to Armenian President Sarkissian

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By Dr Shahid Qureshi: –

I asked the Armenian President Armen Sarkissian who was chief guest at the Eurasian Media Forum May 2019, in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Mr President: you said that, ‘Armenia can play a role as a bridge between Russia and Europe. Can you tell us what is your strategy to resolve the issue of Nagorono Karabakh with neighbouring Azerbaijan?

The Armenian President Armen Sarkissian, said, “Armenia and Azerbaijan are negotiating to resolve the issue and Prime Minister of Armenia and President of Azerbaijan are talking to each other”.

President Armen Sarkissian also volunteered himself in responding to my question about the banks and globalisation instead of most relevant to him about the issue of Nagorno Karabakh with Azerbaijan?

Ghida Fakhry TRT World journalist in Washington said: ‘Armenia is not included in China’s Belt and Road network?

The President however, rejected the comment and said: Armenia is part of the BRI network and he was in contact with the Chinese recently.

I asked the question to panel was “In the absence of transparency and corruption in Banking systems in Swiss Banks and elsewhere how is it possible for any country to meet the high-level requirements of the so called FATF (Financial Action Task Force). Swiss Banks are charging 2% to keeping the mostly ‘corruption’ money in their secret banking system and lending further for 4% and getting 6% for almost doing nothing. How is it possible for any state or country to stop corruption and meet the FATF requirements when Banks are behaving badly in Europe and Switzerland? Sometimes your question is more important and relevant than answers of some experts.

The Armenian President later asked me ‘why you don’t like the banks and where are you from? He probably thought I was from Azerbaijan. I said to him, ‘I am from Pakistan but living in London’.

President Armen Sarkissian of Armenia was a British Citizen and a physicist, as well as computer scientist before becoming President of Armenia and Ambassador of Armenia to United Kingdom said: “Negations between Azerbaijan and Armenia are ongoing, and I am hopeful that issue will be resolved”. The President had multiple nationalities and might have been stretched in pleasing many players, British, Russians as well as Armenians. His knowledge about Banks corruption seems to have been far from realities.

I asked the above question at the Eurasian Media Forum on 23 May 2019 in Almaty, Kazakhstan in its first session. The Forum launched into a high-level discussion on whether, after years of globalization, the world was headed for a reverse process of ‘de-globalization’.  The six panellists generally rejected the suggestion, predicting instead a kind of ‘new globalization’.

Moderator Ghida Fakhry, Presenter TRT World/Moderator Doha Debates, President Armen Sarkissian of Armenia, Dr Baige Zhao, Vice Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Commission of China’s National People’s Congress, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, former President of Estonia, Tatyana Valovaya, Minister in charge of Development and Macroeconomics, the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC),

Sir Ivan Rogers, the United Kingdom’s former Permanent Representative to the European Union (EU), and Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Kazakhstan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Former Governor of Mexico and US Ambassador to UNSC H.E Bill Richardson agreed with me in EAMF 2017 in Astana that: Banks are non-state actors and fuelling terrorism’.

Coming back to the double standards of the FATF, USA and western governments about ‘freedom of speech’ or money laundering and terrorist financing it is always pick and choose. Julian Assange could be jailed for ‘exposing corruption’ and Indian could be ignored in its role in terrorist financing and exporting terrorism in neighbouring countries be it Pakistan or Sri Lanka. The arrest, confession and conviction of Indian Navy officer and RAW agent Kubhushan Yadave, operating from Iranian port city of Chabhar for terrorist financing and exporting terrorism in Pakistan was completely ignored by the US, EU and FATF.

The case is pending outcome in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the moment where Indian Government have completely failed to establish the identity of its citizen who living in Iran and was issued an Indian passport with the Muslim name of ‘Mubarak Hussain Patel’. He travelled to Delhi multiple times from Iran and also inside Pakistan.

I have written about before that FATF must handover all the Pakistani money launderers living abroad as well as the stolen wealth back to Pakistan before becoming a joke.

The FATF Recommendations were designed to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, but when effectively implemented they can also help combat corruption, by:

  • safeguarding the integrity of the public sector
  • protecting designated private sector institutions from abuse
  • increasing transparency of the financial system
  • facilitating the detection, investigation and prosecution of corruption and money laundering, and the recovery of stolen assets.

All in all, it is FATF responsibility to implement its standards of all banks and financial institutions which are providing safe heavens to the corrupt and criminals to steal their country’s wealth and deposit in the Western and Swiss Banks as well as tax free safe heavens.

(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international Presidential election observer for Kazakhstan, 2019, 2016 and 2015 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University and visiting professor in Hebe University in China)

Views expressed are not of The London Post.