On December 10, 2022, Red Lantern Analytica along The Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS), Network State, and Pericles Institute conducted a webinar titled “Indo-Greek-Armenian Strategic Cooperation to Tackle Caliphate Designs”. The webinar’s expert speakers were – Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, Ambassador Ad Honarem & First Greek Ambassador to Armenia; Prof. John M Nomikos – Director, Research Institute For European & American Studies; Vahram Ayvazyan – Founder & Board Chairman of Network State, Dr. Swasti Rao – Associate Fellow Europe & Eurasia Center of MP-IDSA, Abhijit Iyer Mitra – Senior Fellow at the Institute of Peace & Conflict Studies, Michael Nersisyan – British Armenian Journalist Based in the UK and Ms. Uzay Bulut – Journalist & Political Analyst.
Dr. J. Jeganaathan, Assistant Professor, Department of National Security Studies, Central University of Jammu, began the session. He said, “The Caliphate design is coming in a new form which we call Digital Caliphate, to perpetuate their idea of establishing a caliphate. In India, a large number of Youth in Southern states are attracted to the new design of the Caliphate.” He reminded the extradition treaty with Armenia, an extension of the global fight against terrorism.
Paul Antonopoulos, Editor of Greek City Times, moderated the rest of the session. He elaborated on the title and observed, “We enter a dangerous period where the global system is changing with the emergence of several great powers rather than the previous uni-polar & bi-polar world. The new arrangement emboldened countries like Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan to challenge the current system and promote their interest and agenda, which reflects the new Caliphate.”
It is essential to understand the problem in order to address it. Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos explained the Caliphate, what it means, and its goals. He said, “Caliphate also means that many countries desire to recreate the power & glory of Islam and to expand Islam and Sharia law worldwide.” In order to better counter Caliphate designs, he suggested how Greek had taken the initiative to create a common forum for ancient civilizations. Similarly, Armenia, Greece, and India have one thing in common, i.e. each one of them being ancient civilizations and were in contact with each other.
In order to tackle caliphate designs and anti-ancient civilization politics and policies, we need to institutionalize networking between the three of us, said Vahram Ayvazyan. He added, “To tackle the Turkey, Pakistan and Azerbaijan axis and bad marriage against ancient civilizations like India, Greece, and Armenia, we need to institutionalize networking between the three countries and people on three levels – Government, Public Diplomacy and Diaspora cooperation. Information sharing & active dialogue will help us be proactive instead of reactive.
Abhijit Iyer Mitra started his intervention on what unites Pakistan, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. He observed that Pakistan, Turkey, and Azerbaijan use religion as a binder for all their internal issues. He also elaborated on how Pakistan keeps changing its ethnicity according to convenience. The country is a classic case of fluid identity, with one terrorist group for every denomination.
Abhijit said that Turkey had adopted a sub-state model of terrorism using terrorism to interfere in Syria and many other places. Shias in Azerbaijan are adopting much Sunni terrorism. Sunni terrorists have flown from Turkey and Syria to the region to fight against Armenians.
Prof. John M Nomikos proposed that India become an observer of the East Mediterranean Forum. He said, “India is a country that can offer much security to Mediterranean countries. India, Cyprus & Greece’s Navy should be more active. The collaboration between these three countries is a necessity. He also suggested utilizing the power of the Armenian and Greek diaspora more constructively and efficiently”.
Michael Nersisyan began highlighting the Russia-Ukraine war and emphasized that new ones are emerging, for example, the Azerbaijan and Israel alliance aimed at Iran. On the other hand, Israel has complex relations with Turkey. Azerbaijan has channelized all its energy and resources against Armenia. He strongly advised that Greece, Armenia, and India must take each other’s conflicts & problems seriously as they matter in the grand scheme.
There is a lack of information asymmetry at all levels among India, Armenia, and Greece, which creates difficulty in strengthening the alliance, observed Dr. Swasti Rao at the onset of her lecture. Moving ahead, she highlighted how India is supporting Armenia by selling Made in India weapons. She also elaborated on the commonalities between India and Greece’s military industry in light of the close relations of both the nations between Israel and France for their defense equipment.
The last speaker, Ms. Uzay Bulut, elaborated on the ‘Ethnic Cleansing and Violent Islamisation – The Case of Cyprus.’ In 1974, Turkey invaded the republic of Cyprus twice; what followed was the ethnic cleansing of Christianity through forcible displacement. Turkey displaced ethnic Greeks from the invaded region through rape, murders, forced disappearances, and other atrocities. Turkey has occupied 36% of the sovereign territory of Cyprus and 57% of the coastline of Cyprus since 1974. Cyprus is facing an existential threat from Turkey. Azerbaijan committed the same atrocities against Armenians. They desire to revive the so-called Turkish rule from the Far East to China and pursue their Jihadist goal. She concluded by saying that Cyprus should be part of the alliance between India, Armenia and Greece, and all the countries facing threats from the Jihadist countries.
A decision to form a board of civilizations was taken during the webinar, which will concentrate on forging closer ties of India, Greece and Armenia by finding and publicising about the historical ties between these ancient civilizations.
Following the guest speaker’s address, there was an in-depth Q&A session. Mr. Siddhartha, a Senior Researcher at Red Lantern Analytica, delivered the vote of thanks, after which the session was brought to a close.