Also for the Supreme Army Command (14...), Foreign Office (38), Minister of External Affairs, Vienna.
We have just returned from Erivan, where both a close look and intensive discussions with the government and the Catholicos have confirmed and reinforced our opinion that only speedy aid by the Central powers can save Armenia from ruin. The present, small Armenia cannot even feed the settled population, let alone three to five hundred thousand refugees who are presently in Armenia and who make it impossible to keep the situation orderly. Contrary to the government’s will, the refugees’ difficult situation constantly leads to the formation of new gangs and, thus, to new scraps with the Turks. These have sealed Armenia off hermetically and prevent any sort of trade and transportation; they cause the Tartar and Persian population to move away, which leads the Armenian government to fear an attack on Erivan. Here, too, the Turks have not kept the terms of the Treaty of Batum; rather, they are occupying important areas beyond the Batum border. Armenia is only able to survive with borders from the Treaty of Brest and without those border corrections striven for by the Turks, which would give Turkey exactly those districts that are of the greatest economical importance. Almost all of the areas, which are suitable for agriculture are presently occupied by Turks and are being methodically robbed by them. In particular, they are exporting large stocks of cotton despite the treaty. The harvest was partly gathered by the Turks; for the most part, it is rotting. The railway line to Nachitschevan must be made Armenian at all costs. The Turks should be given the right to transport their troops, as in Georgia. The railway is in a reasonably good state. The Armenians in dispute have stated as decisively as I that the above mentioned will come to pass between the two nations when the Turks have retreated to the Batum border. Enver’s statement to the contrary is merely an excuse to gain time to complete the total destruction and exploitation of this country, which is being occupied in breach of the treaty. Recently, the Turks have been attempting to march on the purely Armenian province of Karabach from Azerbaijan and disarm it. If we do not prevent them from doing so, it will be unavoidable that the mountain dwellers able to defend themselves will battle against the Mohammedans.
Immediate instructions are urgently requested whether the news report by the Armenian government is correct that Armenia is to become an Austrian-Hungarian sphere of interest under an Austrian-Hungarian contract for protection. Supposedly, the Armenians have accepted these solutions.
The reception in Erivan was warm and heartfelt. The report and letter from the Catholicos to the Emperor William and Emperor Charles, in which he requests protection from their Majesties as Christian rulers, are being sent in the next post.