Armenia-Turkey Agreement May Come Soon, Says Manoyan

The Armenian-Turkish border

YEREVAN (Yerkir Media)–An agreement on the opening of the Armenia-Turkey border may come after April 24 of this years, said Armenian Revolutionary Federation political director Giro Manoyan on Monday during a press briefing.

“The course of events indicates that some sort of an agreement will be reached this year and the impression is that burden of executing this agreement falls on Turkey,” said Manoyan emphasizing that the opening of the Turkey-Armenia border would not necessarily be a positive development for Armenia.

He stressed that an agreement will not be signed during the upcoming visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan to Armenia, since Turkey is awaiting US reaction given President Barack Obama’s campaign pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Manoyan explained that since the August Georgia-Russia war, Turkey has been attempting to assert itself as a regional power. He added that it is difficult for Turkey to assert its position with a country with which it does not have diplomatic relations or open borders. Another reason, Manoyan explained, for Turkey’s desire to accelerate the normalization of relations with Armenia is to block the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

“Given Turkey’s policies, official Yerevan should take a more firm stance and should not resort to concessions,” added Manoyan.

Manoyan warned that the opening of the border would lead to a Turkish economic invasion, since Armenia and Turkey are not on equal footing in that realm.

"The ARF has voiced it concern over the signing of an agreement, as well as the on the matter of normalizing relations with Turkey in general. Armenia’should not take steps that could impede its ability to defend its rights in the future or create opportunities to call into question the veracity of the Armenian Genocide,” added Manoyan explaining that the ARF will be proposing a series of economic measures in the event the border is opened.

Manoyan also discussed the upcoming visit of President Barack Obama to Turkey saying that there might be several scenarios at play, including conjecture that Obama has decided not to use the word “genocide” in his April 24 statement or perhaps he is going to Turkey to appease them because, in fact, he will recognize the Genocide.

Manoyan added that Obama would rather have an ally that fesses up to its past crimes, rather than one that every two years presents ultimatums to the US.

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