Nalbandian Says ‘Don’t Panic,’ While Davutoglu Eyes Karabakh

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As Armenia’s foreign minister, Eduard Nalbandian told reporters Wednesday that there was no need to panic over the Turkey-Armenia roadmap protocols, his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu promised a swift resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In fact, Nalbandian brushed aside legitimate concerns about national issues, and in a rather pedestrian move used yet another animal analogy. When asked whether the provision on recognizing present-day borders amounted to Armenia’s acceptance of the Kars Treaty, Nalbandian said: “Don’t look for a calf under a bull.” This, coupled with his “don’t fish in murky waters” from several weeks ago demonstrates the level of sophistication of Armenia’s chief diplomat and the indifference with which this new page in Armenian history is being treated.

This non-chalance—or arrogance—further exasperates matters, as Turkey, having raised its position through the provisions of the protocols, is moving forward and engaging stakeholders and players to garner a resolution on Karabakh.

“To be able to turn this normalization [between Turkey and Armenia] into permanent peace, we are expecting a forthwith settlement on the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan with the contributions of the international community,” Davutoglu told reporters late Tuesday.

Turkey has already launched a new diplomatic initiative for mobilizing international actors in this regard, according to sources. Davutoglu held a long phone conversation with the foreign ministers of France and the United States, two members of the Minsk Group. The issue was already largely discussed with Russia.

Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also be a harbinger for a quick fix to Karabakh when next month he attends the UN General Assembly, of which Turkey is a permanent member.

So, assurances by President Sarkisian and Nalbandian do not silence the alarm that was sounded after Monday’s announcement. Nor, does it reassure Armenians around the world that their very national interests are not up for grabs for the myriad nebulous benefits the opening of the border is said to bring.

What has become crystal clear since Monday is that continued insistence by Armenia’s leaders that they have demanded no preconditions in the negotiation process was misleading at best and a lie at worst.

Unless the definition of the word “precondition” has changed since April 22 when the so-called “roadmap” agreement was announced, the provisions on the establishment of relations between Armenia and Turkey are peppered with preconditions that corner Armenia into making concessions and pose an extreme threat to our national interests, security and future. Clearly, Turkey is not wasting any time.

The Sarkisian administration’s self-righteous posturing and hollow promises signal that they are either truly out of touch or are the stranglehold on Armenia is so tight that they are unable to catch up with the paradigm shifts that have occurred since that ill-fated day in Moscow in 2008 when Sarkisian extended the invitation and kicked off the so-called “soccer diplomacy” fiasco.

From the onset this process was doomed and the administration did not ask for or seek national consensus, instead it turned away allies,  alienated a significant portion of the Diaspora and polarized the entire nation.

The upcoming six weeks are a critical time for Armenia and Armenians. The protocol-mandated six week domestic political vetting period leading up to the return soccer match in Istanbul and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs visit at the end of this month with the revised Madrid Principles will test how adeptly we, as a nation, can maneuver this crucial turning point in history.

Political forces and organizations in the Diaspora must come together to ensure that their decades-long struggle is not pushed to the side in favor of a defeatist agreement and the Armenian government, with its president, foreign ministry and Diaspora ministry should rally the entire nation toward an uncompromising national solution.

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11 Comments

  1. Garo said:

    The Soccer diplomacy is a total failure and fiasco. It is defeatist, capitulating and plain treacherous. Not only it should not be persued but the President should cancel his trip to Ankara in 6 weeks unless Turkey drops all the preconditions related to Borders, Karabakh, and Intergovernmental commission to study the history. The fields of play should be levelled. No preconditions from Both sides; and no unilateral concessions by Armenia.
    Besides the trip the President of Armenia should dismiss the entire cabinet, and bring a new cabinet that will be ratified by the Parliament. A government that will rally the entire nation, both Armenia and Diaspora, in an open and transparent method, towards a just, right and nationally secure solution.

  2. Ishkhanb said:

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    1.

    “SAHMANI BATSMAN”- KHERITSE ANTSANK- SHARE CHENK UZUM.
    Wednesday, September 2, 2009 2:26 AM
    From:
    “Dr. Ishkhan Babajanian”

    To:
    “Serzh G- Ar.P -Sargsyan Arm.Pres”

    Parun Nakhaghah “Achkneres louys” Yerevi nerko haytararutyune kardatsadz kam lsadz ke linek. Aznvoren haytnem vor menk hayrenikov- aproghners chenk haskanum inch e katarvum. Ardiok yete duk haskanum yek inch e katarvum, Khndrem mer zhoghovurdin batsatrek — Duk Chek kardzum vor dzez khapum yen yev heto khapelu herte Karabaghin a hasnelu. Dzanot linelov Arevmutkin yev namanavand Turkerin Pastatsi khosenk Lurj Vakh ka vor Karabaghum el karogh e dzez NOREN KHAPEN– Shnorhakalutyunerov —————————————————————————————————————————————– —Sireli Nakhaghah, Aveli lav chi lini yete mer zhoghovurde mianghamits asi yeghbayr, “Sahmani Batsuman” Voch KHERN yenk uzum Voch el SHARE …… Ghone ARTSAKHUM CHE- KHAPVEK …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ===============================================================================================Davutoglu They Say Border Opening ‘Out of the Question

  3. Barkev Asadourian said:

    Sarsoor mae deerets tartsial mer kelkhin
    korts pattsvetsav mer nor seroontin
    tsekelov mer Hayootian khoroonk takartin
    madnelov Hayasdanin ahavor ahazakin
    Asvats Okne

  4. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    Mr. Nalbandyan is not a diplomat. He is Mr. Sarksyan’s goalkeeper in a football diplomacy. Whereas Mr. Davutoglu is the centre-forward of the Turkish team.
    jeshmarid@yahoo.com

  5. Garen said:

    If these protocols are ratified by Armenia, these issues are dead:
    Genocide acknowledgement, reparations, and land. Artsakh’s days are probably also numbered.

    Who will gain from these protocols?

    Turkey, which will be able, along with the US and Israel, to penetrate the Caucasus.

    And Swiss banks will also benefit. Swiss banks? Yes. The Swiss bank accounts of Armenia’s top leaders will swell with the baksheesh they are getting for cutting these deals.

    By the way, what is the Armenian word for treason? I think It’s a word we’ll be hearing a lot in the near future. What provisions in Armenian law are there for prosecuting treason?

    And, finally, what are the penalties for treason?

  6. Ruben Malayan said:

    These are very scary and dangerous developments. I have recently returned from Hayastan and I must tell you, the mood is very gloomy. I am afraid that its very possible that the defence of Artsakh in case of the open conflict (and its inevidable) will have to be taken up by the spiourk. Armenia’s government lacks both credibility and talent to handle the situation, so we must prepare for worst.

  7. Razmig said:

    “Don’t look for a calf under a bull”…unbelievable.
    This goes beyond incompetency. It’s outright treason at this point.

  8. Serge said:

    What the hell is Nalbandian smoking? can sombody wake him up and take away the stuff he is smoking and make him to resign.

  9. Zareh said:

    The words “politically unsophisticated” fit perfectly with the names of Serge Sarkissian and Edward Nalbandian. They have proven, time and again, that they are no match to the far superior Turkish political capabilities. These two Armenian leaders are acting like a losing gambler in a casino who, despite large losses, keeps putting money in a slot machine in the hopes of recovering what was lost…..we all know how “rewarding” slot machines can be.

    The real question remains as why the Dashnaktsutiun party is not demanding the immediate resignation of the President of the Republic, instead of skirting around and laughably asking for Nalbandian’s head. I find this Dashnak action as lacking in courage and without real and meaningful strategy. One would expect more from a party of Dashnak’s stature.

    In the mean time Armenia’s and Armenians’ national interests are being gambled away. Serge Sarkissian is confident that the last coin in his pocket will hit the jackpot!

  10. edward Demian said:

    I keep forgetting; Why are we negoiciating with Turkey? The closed borders have been a political and economic boon for Armenia. Whille the Armenian Government is striving to negociate open borders with Turkey, so we could be innundated with cheap Turkish goods which will destroy the infant Armenian economy. If we succeed in having an open link to the Black Sea, big deal. All the economies all around the black sea are all in the same sad shape. Nevermind that there will occur an influx of cheap Turkish laborers which will eventually outnumber the Armenians. That is the sad future I see for Armenia on its present course. Nevermind us loosing for ever, Karabagh, Nachichevan, the liberated teritorries, Western Armenia, Cilicia, (yes, Cilicia too.) etc. So far the economic blocade has forced the Armenian government to do what they should have had the vision to do in the first place. Open alternate roads through Iran to the Persian gulf. THATS WHERE THE MONEY IS. from Persia, back into Russia around the Caspian. Let us Isolate Azerbaijian and Turkey from its markets in the North. We are the bone in their crow. We can keep those borders closed for another 100 years. Because of the closed borders, we now are self sufficient in energy, import oil from a pipeline from Iran, built roads throughout Armenia, Karabagh, and Armenian parts of Georgia, linking all these Armenian communities together for the first time perhaps in centuries. Mind you, I don’t credit the Armenian leadership with any of this. It was all accidentaly brought about by the closed border. Oherwise, nothing would have changed in Armenia since the Soviet times. What else have these years brought us? Missed opportunities in populating Armenia and Karabagh. Whille the Jews go to Africa and China looking for a few handfull remnants of jewish blood to bring back to populate Israel, the Armenian state ignores the existance of millions of people of Armenian descent that would gladly resettle in Armenia. Right now if you are a poor Armenian family living in a cardboard shack in a Beirut slum, you have no help to even buy a plane ticket. Only financially self sufficient Armenians can go to Armenia. What else? Let me see, yeah…. we have not have had to give up even one inch of land. Negociate not Capitulate. One more thing. The outcome of the negociations should include a representative body of the Armenian diaspora, since so much of what is being negociated will affect us too. You piss us off well enough and you will wind up like Albania, without a friend. This outcome is the direct result of Hayastantzy policy of keeping out the diaspora, and all its wealth of contacts, and intelect and international diplomatic experience. I would have invited Gov. Deukmejian to rep us at the UN. I would invite that international US negociator to the Middle East, whose name I’m ebarrassed to admit I forgot. Oh yeah, the Aznavour appointment was a nice touch. I just love his singing. Perhaps he can sing for us at the UN.

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