The U.S. Vice President Mike Pence who was attending the Conference in Defense of Christians stated that the assistance to Christian communities of the Near East is on the way, and he was attending the Conference to make this announcement. Pence announced that the United States deems assistance provided through the UN as ineffective, and has decided to provide assistance to Christians directly, not through the UN pipeline.
The statement of the US Vice President is related to humanitarian actions but is, nevertheless, a political-military statement because in fact the United States submits an application for the defender of Christian communities and does this clearly.
Does this mean that the United States will review its policy on the Near East, placing it on so-called historical bases? Pence recalled that Christianity emerged in the Near East and listed its historical, regional, geographical beginnings. Does this historical review indicate a basis for the U.S. vision of new borders or is the United States thus doing a political gesture and hints its readiness to activate the Christian component in its Near Eastern policy? On the other hand, what will it suppose, where will this activation be reflected?
Or doesn’t the statement of the American vice-president indicate essential political-military transformations and emanates from the general logic of the event which simply supposes change of the U.S. work in the humanitarian direction, rejection of the UN pipe, without political-military transformations.
On the other hand, can this circumstance be devoid of political influence if this is about the actions of the great power number one, even if the humanitarian sphere is concerned. This is not the first time American officials announced about protecting the Christian minorities in the Near East; technically, this is the first time the United States announced about introducing a separate humanitarian mechanism.
At the same time, it is possible that the statement of the U.S. Vice President is a message to Iran and Turkey, and at the same time Russia or the Russia-Iran-Turkey trio which is trying to achieve agreements on Syria under the Astana process.
It is also beyond doubt that despite being a cradle of Christianity, the Near East is primarily a crater of civilizations where the Muslim factor is prevalent, therefore real politics has to take it into account.
The Christian minorities are perhaps an instrument rather than a starting point or pole. On the other hand, the United States announces to apply this instrument, imparting it with a tangible role of a subject. In this sense, an interesting situation occurs for Armenia as there are Armenian communities in the Near East, and Armenia is the “state Christian post” bordering with the region.
The statement of the U.S. Vice President creates an interesting situation for Armenia. Currently Yerevan is working with Moscow for a humanitarian mission in the Near East, contributing to humanitarian assistance sent to Syria, thereby supporting the Armenians who stayed to live there.
At the same time, it was stated a few months ago that Armenia is considering participation in humanitarian demining with Russia. At the same time, in September Serzh Sargsyan announced in the UN that it is necessary to implement a UN peacekeeping mission in Syria.
It is not ruled out that this statement by Armenia was determined by two factors. First, it intends to show that Armenia is working with Russia in Syria not against the West but because this is the only channel to support the Armenian community and is ready to cooperate similarly with the West through the UN to address the issues of the Armenian community. Or Armenia was trying to create a coalition with the UN to replace the Russian coalition in the humanitarian mission.
Here comes the statement of the U.S. Vice President on the commitment of the United States to protect Christian communities and to start a U.S. humanitarian mission.
What will Armenia do which is a key Christian state in the Near East? Will Armenia express its readiness to the United States to join their mission or will Armenia wait until the United States calls it to join?
In fact, the United States is making a statement which is different from what Serzh Sargsyan stated in the UN. Pence states that the UN is not an effective and reliable mechanism for humanitarian aid and it does not ensure the security of beneficiaries of aid which allows supposing that the U.S. humanitarian aid will be coupled with military mechanisms of security.
Will the United States form a coalition for its humanitarian actions? How will Armenia respond if the United States invites Armenia to join?
It is certain that with cooperation with Russia Armenia has no right not to work with the United States in the same direction. Moreover, the American proposal contains a prospect for political-military cooperation which is related to fundamental factors relating to the Armenian interests in the Karabakh issue.
By the way, the minister of defense met with the American ambassador Richard Mills. One of the questions they discussed was the participation of Armenia in the ongoing international peacekeeping missions and Armenia’s involvement in the future.