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#261 Yervant1


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Posted 17 November 2016 - 11:21 AM

Armenian president reveals conditions for opening Armenian-Turkish border

16:20 • 17.11.16


The Armenian-Turkish border could only be opened with mutual consent of Armenia and Turkey, without any preconditions, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

“I may be citing an unpopular example. But any wedding requires consent of both sides. In this case, we cannot say the issue has been settled fifty percent. Nothing depends on us in this respect,” Mr Sargsyan said.

Armenia has long since been ready for improving relations.

“Until 2009, even our friends used to tell us we suffered from a ‘genocide complex’ and did not want any relations with Turkey as long as they refuse to admit the Armenian Genocide. But we did that step, did not we? Can you understand my circumstances when I travelled round the world and had meetings with representatives of the Armenian Diaspora? In Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Beirut thousands of Armenians took to the streets against Armenia’s president and demanded that the protocols not be signed,” President Serzh Sargsyan said.

“The result is that they do not honor their commitments they themselves signed. What else can be done? To bow to the wishes and say: ‘Yes, let’s allow Azerbaijan establish control of the security zone’, and Turkey will open the borders. And then? A conflict may break out in three months, in a year, in a half year, and they will close the border again. It does not depend on us, does it?” Mr Sargsyan said.

Back in 2008, Armenia offered Turkey to announce a negotiating process and in 2009 the sides signed two protocols.

“And in Zurich, in the presence of the foreign ministers of three UN permanent member-states, the two protocols were signed. Regrettably, later developments showed Turkey was not prepared to ratify the protocols or establish relations with Armenia without preconditions,” Armenia’s president said.

“And they began setting preconditions: ‘Armenia must persuade Nagorno-Karabakh to cede at least one ‘occupied region’ (as they labeled the regions) to Azerbaijan. That is, part of the security zone. And then Turkey would be ready to establish relations and open the borders. Since we agreed and the two protocols clearly indicated that we were supposed to establish relations without any preconditions, our answer was: ‘Sorry, but we should have talked about it before we signed [the protocols] that is, during the negotiations.’ And we have not since had any relations with Turkey. If we meet at international forums somewhere, we just greet one another. That’s all.”  


#262 Yervant1


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Posted 10 October 2017 - 09:11 AM

Panorama, Armenia
Oct 9 2017
Politics 19:20 09/10/2017Armenia
Turkey-Armenia Protocols were sold to Azerbaijan at a very high price – orientalist

The Turkey-Armenia Protocols were sold to Azerbaijan at a very high price, with Turkey gaining significant tangible and intangible benefits, a former Armenian ambassador to Syria said Monday.

Speaking at a news conference in capital city Yerevan, orientalist David Hovhannisyan said Turkey followed a clearly laid out plan when signing the protocols and gained a lot as a result.

“Please note that this process is currently frozen, which enables to turn Armenian-Turkish relations into non Armenian-Turkish relations: Turkish-American., Turkish-Russian, Turkish-European [relations],” the former diplomat said.

Mr. Hovhannisyan believes normalization in the Turkish and Armenian relations is possible only in case the leaders of the two states reach a principled decision.

“Only after the decisions, will other countries be able to offer their intervention: the decisions of Armenia and Turkey are the primary,” he noted.


#263 Yervant1


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Posted 14 December 2017 - 02:46 PM

Which part of "no preconditions" Turkey doesn't understand?

Public Radio of Armenia

Dec 14 2017
Turkey says committed to Armenia protocols, links ratification to Karabakh settlement

Turkey has said it is still committed to the protocols signed with Armenia in 2009, which have not yet been ratified by either side, “despite Yerevan’s negative stance” in proceeding with the normalization of bilateral ties and the establishment of diplomatic relations.

“Despite Armenia’s negative stance on the Protocols, Turkey is committed to the primary clauses of the Protocols. These Protocols are still on the agenda of the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Commission. For their ratification it is essential that a favorable political atmosphere and peace in the South Caucasus is secured,” read a written statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Dec. 14.

The statement came after Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said Turkey is responsible for the delay in the ratification of the protocols signed between Turkey and Armenia on Oct. 10, 2009, vowing that the Armenian government would annul the said protocols.

“These claims do not reflect the truth and aim to mislead world public opinion,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in response, suggesting that Ankara had made efforts to normalize relations with Armenia “on several levels” after Armenia proclaimed its independence in 1991.

“Turkey’s primary target pertaining to the Protocols process is to realize the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia so comprehensive peace and stability in the South Caucasus is provided,” read the statement.

“In this vein, it is necessary that progress is achieved in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, based on Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and in light of the relevant resolutions of the U.N. Security Council,” it added.

The Foreign Ministry statement also responded to Nalbandian’s remarks on the Armenian Genocide.

“Mr. Nalbandian’s claims on genocide in his speech do not reflect the truth either. As ascertained by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, the 1915 events are a matter of legitimate debate within the framework of freedom of _expression_,” it said.




#264 Yervant1


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Posted 25 January 2018 - 11:13 AM

Panorama, Armenia
Jan 24 2018
It would be insulting for Armenian people to make unilateral concessions to establish relations with Turkey – President Sargsyan

It would be insulting for the Armenian people to make unilateral concessions to establish relations with Turkey, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan said at the PACE winter session on Wednesday commenting on the question over the Armenian-Turkish relations.

“We do not understand well the demand of the Turkish side to do something. In 2008, after I got elected, I initiated the publicizing of the Armenian-Turkish relations, as a result of which a meeting was held between the Armenian and Turkish presidents,” he said.

The president reminded that Armenia and Turkey signed two documents on establishment of relations between the two countries in Zurich, Switzerland in 2009 at the presence of the foreign ministers of permanent members of the UN Security Council. 

“Those documents clearly stated that these relations are to be established without any preconditions, but unfortunately the Turkish side has continued to come up with preconditions. In the international experience we have not come across similar examples, all terms are negotiated before signing a document. Nine years down the road we keep hearing from the Turkish side about allegedly taking a step. While the document very clearly states that the relations are to be established after which all the existing wrinkles between the two countries should be discussed,” Mr Sargsyan said.

Serzh Sargsyan stressed Armenia can never accept any preconditions. 

“Turkey is a powerful state indeed, it has enormous potential, but this does not mean Turkey should speak from the position of power or in the language of preconditions. We do not accept such a stance,” he stressed.

The president observed that there are more powerful states with larger population than Turkey, adding if they spoke from the position of power with Turkey, the latter would never accept such an attitude.

“It would be insulting for our people to make unilateral concessions to establish relations [with Turkey,” he stressed.

Serzh Sargsyan once again announced that the Armenia-Turkey Protocols will be voided by Armenia before spring, urging Turkey to abandon its policies.

“I believe it would be appropriate and correct for the Turkish side to give up such a position and its support for Azerbaijan to maintain the fragile stability in the region. I want to remind that during the hostilities in April 2016 Turkey was the only state to publically voice support for Azerbaijan’s military actions,” he said.


#265 Yervant1


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Posted 02 March 2018 - 10:48 AM

March 1 2018
Armenia scraps deal with Turkey designed to normalise relations
By Hasmik Mkrtchyan
YEREVAN, March 1 (Reuters) - Armenia has scrapped a peace agreement it signed with Turkey in 2009 in a failed attempt to normalise relations between the two countries, the Armenian president’s press service said on Thursday.
Armenia and Turkey signed the landmark peace accord to restore ties and open their shared border after a century of hostility stemming from the World War One mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman forces.
The deal needed parliamentary approval in both countries, but was never ratified, and the Armenian and Turkish governments have since accused each other of trying to change the deal.
“As a result of discussions, President (Serzh) Sarksyan signed a decree and a national security council approved a procedure of annulling protocols which have been signed on October 10, 2009,” the press service said in a statement.
The press service quoted Sarksyan as saying that Armenia did everything “not to leave the burden of the settlement of relations between Armenia and Turkey on the shoulders of future generations.”
“But Ankara ... did not even make a single step towards ratification and implementation of protocols, but also left no doubt that it was not intending to do it,” Sarksyan said.
He added that Armenia was ready to cooperate with Turkey in the future, if “there would be the same willingness from the Turkish side.”
There was no immediate reaction from Turkey.
Armenia suspended its ratification following Turkish demands that it first reach terms over a breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, a condition Turkey set to appease its ally Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan feared it would lose leverage in negotiations to win back Nagorno-Karabakh, which it lost to Armenian-backed forces in the bloodiest of the ethnic conflicts which followed the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.
Armenian President Sarksyan also faced vehement opposition from nationalists at home and the powerful Armenian diaspora abroad.
“The leadership of Turkey are mistaken if they think that those documents can be held hostage forever and ratified only at the most opportune occasion from their very point of view,” Sarksyan said in a speech at the United Nation’s General Assembly last autumn. (Additional reporting and writing by Margarita Antidze; editing by Andrey Ostroukh and Elaine Hardcastle)

#266 Yervant1


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Posted 16 February 2021 - 09:05 AM

Warning to Armenia’s Leaders:

            Don’t Fall in the Turkish Trap Again

            By Harut Sassounian

            Publisher, The California Courier


Neither Armenia’s previous nor current leaders have had the adequate
experience to run a country.

This is true in both domestic and foreign policies. In order to
rectify this undesirable situation, some have suggested finding the
pertinent experts who would advise Armenia’s leaders. Regrettably, all
such efforts have failed for the simple reason that before the experts
could be helpful; the leaders have to be willing to listen to their
advice. My long experience in dealing with Armenia’s leaders has shown
that they think they know everything and have no need to learn from
anyone. This is one reason why the Republic of Armenia has been
mismanaged for 30 years. It is understandable that a leader does not
have to be knowledgeable about every issue. That is why he or she has
advisors. But when the advisors know even less than their leader, as
is the case in Armenia, the situation becomes hopeless.

I have written this lengthy introduction to make the point that in
addition to not knowing much and not listening to advice, Armenia’s
leaders refuse to learn from their past mistakes—which is the reason
why they repeat them.

One such example is the current discussion in Armenia and Turkey about
the possible opening of the Armenian-Turkish border, closed by Turkey
since 1993. Last week, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ara Aivazyan told
the members of Parliament: “There is no longer a reason [for Turkey]
to close the border with Armenia. For long years, Turkey blockaded
Armenia’s border, demanding a change in the status quo of the Artsakh
conflict. The status quo has been changed through the use of force.”
The Foreign Minister assured the Parliament that currently no
activities have been initiated in that regard.

The Armenian Foreign Minister’s statement comes on the heels of recent
expressions by the President and Foreign Minister of Turkey of their
willingness to open the border with Armenia, should the latter meet
certain conditions. In the past, Turkey’s reason for closing the
border was Armenia’s refusal to free “Azerbaijan’s occupied
territories.” Therefore, one would think that now that Azerbaijan has
forcefully occupied most of these territories, the problem is solved
and Turkey will open the border. However, let us remember that Turkey
had two additional conditions to open Armenia’s border:

1) Armenia must abandon its pursuit of the international recognition
of the Armenian Genocide;

2) Armenia must recognize Turkey’s current borders and not make any
territorial demands.

We all recall that back in 2009 after Armenia and Turkey signed the
Protocols to open their mutual border, Turkey made the additional
demands from Armenia. When Armenia refused to accept these new
conditions, Turkey decided not to ratify the Armenia-Turkey Protocols,
after coming under intense pressure from Azerbaijan.

At the time, there was a major outcry from the Diaspora and many
within Armenia that the Protocols were not in Armenia’s interests.
Nevertheless, President Serzh Sargsyan persisted in his misguided
approach, until Turkey gave up on the Protocols, inadvertently saving
Armenia’s interests.

The other major harmful effect of the Protocols was that it undermined
the pledge that Pres. Barack Obama had made to acknowledge the
Armenian Genocide on April 24, 2009.

The Protocols were a clever Turkish ploy to derail the acknowledgment
of Armenian Genocide by the President of the United States. The
Turkish leaders, with the collaboration of Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton, repeatedly told Pres. Obama not issue a statement recognizing
the Armenian Genocide at a time when Armenia and Turkey were engaged
in serious negotiations on normalizing their relations. They succeeded
in convincing Pres. Obama that using the term Armenian Genocide would
disrupt these negotiations. As a result, instead of keeping his
campaign pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide, Pres. Obama stated
on April 24, 2009: “I also strongly support the efforts by Turkey and
Armenia to normalize their bilateral relations. Under Swiss auspices,
the two governments have agreed on a framework and roadmap for
normalization. I commend this progress, and urge them to fulfill its

It is true that Pres. Obama failed to keep his campaign promise, but
Armenia’s leaders are the ones who gave him the perfect excuse to hide
behind the charade of the Protocols. Consequently, Armenians lost both
the acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide by the President of the
United States and the opening of the border.

Regrettably, the same scenario is about to repeat again this year.
Pres. Joe Biden made a campaign promise to recognize the Armenian
Genocide. It should be much easier for him to take such a step now,
since both the House of Representatives (almost unanimously) and the
U.S. Senate (unanimously) acknowledged the Armenian Genocide in 2019.
While it is not certain that Pres. Biden will keep his promise, we
should not give him the excuse not to do so.

If the past is any indication, this is the exact ploy that Turkey is
plotting now. We know that the Biden Administration has a much harsher
position vis-à-vis Pres. Erdogan and Turkey. There are several
disputes between the United States and Turkey that will be difficult
to overcome. Knowing this well, Pres. Erdogan has started in recent
weeks to take steps to reconcile with Israel, Greece and Saudi Arabia
in order to ingratiate himself to Pres. Biden. Pres. Erdogan’s
suggestion to open the border with Armenia is a part of this overall
Turkish strategy.

In the aftermath of the disastrous Artsakh War, Armenia’s leaders
cannot afford to make more miscalculations. While most of Artsakh and
its surrounding territories are already lost, I hope the Armenian
Government does not make the mistake of providing an excuse for the
Biden Administration not to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Even
more importantly, Armenia’s leaders should not take the unthinkable
step of pledging not to pursue the international recognition of the
Armenian Genocide and acknowledge the current borders of Turkey. Such
an acceptance would damage Armenia’s interests forever. How could
Armenia agree to such Turkish suggestions in the aftermath of the
vicious role played by Turkey in the recent Artsakh War, which
resulted in the killing and maiming of thousands of Armenian soldiers
and the occupation of Armenian territories? The wounds are too fresh
to contemplate any attempt to normalize relations with Turkey.

Armenia’s inexperienced leaders can find themselves in an untenable
situation if Turkey decides unilaterally to open its border, while
Armenia refuses to do so; giving Turkey accolades and making Armenia
seem obstructionist in the eyes of the international community.
Armenia’s situation will be further complicated should Turkey open its
border, whereas the Armenian Government just banned the import of
Turkish products for six months or longer. Should the border open and
Armenia allow the import of Turkish products, the Armenian market
would be flooded with cheaper Turkish products, adversely affecting
local manufacturers. One possible solution would be for Armenia,
instead of outright banning Turkish imports, to place such an
exorbitant tariff on them, making them practically unsaleable in the
country. By avoiding the ban, Armenia would not look bad in the eyes
of the world, while generating much needed revenue for the Armenian
Government, should anyone import Turkish goods.

In the meantime, Armenia should put its own conditions on Turkey
before agreeing to open its border, such as Turkish recognition of the
Armenian Genocide and compensation for the Armenian losses. Such a
move would contradict the positions of both Pres. Serzh Sargsyan and
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan who have expressed their readiness to
have Armenia ratify the ill-fated Protocols and open the border with
Turkey, without any preconditions!

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