The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (“EAFJD”) and its President Kaspar Karampetian, were taken aback to read the article published on March 17, 2023, on the Le VIF website, entitled “ArmenianGate” in sight? Europe must urgently clean up its friendship groups”, which was subsequently published by various media.
This article, written by a Frenchman, Sébastien Boussois, who presents himself as a “doctor in political science and a specialist in the Middle East”, weaves untruths, seriously damaging the honor and reputation of the Federation and its president Karampetian. By exercising their right of reply, the Federation and Kaspar Karampetian intend to dispel the fake news conveyed by this article, without alas being exhaustive.
The EAFJD is an international non-profit organization founded in 2000 in Paris. It established an office in Brussels in 2002. Kaspar Karampetian was elected president in 2011. The Federation carries the voice of the suffering of the Armenian Diaspora. Over the years, the EAFJD has positioned itself as the main interlocutor in the European Union on key Armenian issues such as the recognition of the 1915 genocide, the existentially endangered Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh/Artsakh and the development of ever-stronger ties with Europe.
The EAFJD is registered in the European Parliament’s Transparency Register, where it publishes all the resources used in its activities. As anyone can verify, none of them originate from the diamond trade, contrary to what Boussois claims. Nor is it true to claim that Karampetian made a fortune from the diamond business and used it to finance the Federation.
Kaspar Karampetian is deeply shocked by certain remarks which are untrue, defamatory, or totally taken out of context. These remarks damage his image and that of the Armenian cause for which he is so devoted to.
Boussois claims that Kaspar Karampetian is a “millionaire with dual Luxembourg and Armenian nationality”. According to Boussois, if “Karampetyan chose Brussels (…) it is not by chance. He is well-known in Belgium for his rather opaque diamond business, notably for his import and illegal certification of minerals from African conflict zones to Europe”. Allegedly in support of his claims, Boussois adds the following quote: “In Belgium, he bought jewelry shops. (…) Karampetian created an extensive and bloody network of diamond trading”. There is nevertheless a small problem: this quote is taken from the Azerbaijani website “news.az”, one of its goals is to promote Azerbaijan’s foreign policy, while the latter has been currently waging a particularly vicious war of aggression against Armenia. Can a “Doctor” from a French University really consider such a source to be objectively reliable and vouch for it? The rest of the article is as reliable as its sources, as elaborated below.
Kaspar Karampetian has dual Greek and Armenian nationality and is not a citizen of Luxembourg. He was employed by a Greek company called “AGOPIAN” for almost 30 years. The company imported and distributed photographic equipment. Afterwards, Karampetian held the position of Chancellor of the Armenian Orthodox Prelature in Greece. In 2007 Karampetian retired and decided to devote himself entirely to the Armenian cause. He then became the president of the EAFJD. The EAFJD office is located in Brussels, which requires him to commute frequently.
Kaspar Karampetian does not have the nationality of a state often associated with tax schemes in the public mind, nor has he ever worked in the diamond sector. Karampetian is also far from being a millionaire. It should also be pointed out that, Karampetian has always advocated for the Armenian cause in a peaceful manner and has never supported any “terrorist” organization, as Boussois claims, adding insult to injury.
The rest of the article reads like a thesis with conspiracy overtones. The headline “Some are already talking about a future “Kaspargate”, meaning diamond smugglers lobbying the European institutions”. This would be funny if it did not have such potentially tragic consequences for a people going through terrible suffering.
Sébastien Boussois tries to link the EAFJD and Kaspar Karampetian to the “Qatargate” affair and to the actions of Ms Eva Kaili, former vice-president of the European Parliament, who, as a reminder, has been suspected since December 2022 of having influenced the decisions of the European Parliament in favor of Qatar and Morocco, in return for payment. The author thus suggests that the declaration of a group of European parliamentarians, condemning the war waged by Azerbaijan against Armenia would be the result of a corruption operation by the latter.
These fabrications aim to discredit the few points of leverage that the Armenian people (far from being powerful) have within Europe. In reality, the European Parliament has already adopted several resolutions, condemning Azerbaijan’s behavior in a completely autonomous and independent manner since 2021.
In this respect, one can recall for instance the urgent resolution of 20 May 2021 ((2021/2693(RSP)) on the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against the Armenian population of Nagorno-Karabakh and the horrific treatment of the Armenian prisoners of war/captives, voted by a majority in the EP plenary.
It should also be noted that neither the EAFJD nor its president have ever paid for trips of European parliamentarians. For example, the expenses of the trip to Armenia on 21 February 2023 to 24 February 2023 were covered by the parliamentarians themselves, clearly indicating their own desire to recognize the suffering of the Armenian population.
In the light of the above, the EAFJD and Kaspar Karampetian can only deplore the attitude of the author towards the suffering of the Armenians – an author who claims to be a “Doctor in political science and a specialist in the Middle East”. One may wonder who can benefit from such concoctions and untruths. The answer is perhaps to be found in the sources cited by Boussois.
Consequently, the EAFJD and Kaspar Karampetian personally will file a legal complaint with the criminal justice system, on the one hand to ensure that justice triumphs concerning Boussois’ writings and, on the other hand, to shed full light on their source.