ARF’s Concerns Did Not Subside After President’s Meeting

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YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—After a five-hour closed door meeting about the Amenia-Turkey protocols between President Serzh Sarkisian and more than 50 political parties Thursday, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation said its concerns were not put to rest.

“By inviting Turkey’s President to Armenia, I intended to open a window of the possibility to normalize relations and to demonstrate that a people who have suffered Genocide, and the Armenian nation, have enough courage and the will to be the first to extend a hand,” said Sarkisian during his opening remarks at the meeting, which was part of the protocol-mandated public discussion provision.

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian (L) and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian (R)

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian (L) and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian (R)

The president acknowledged his own concerns about the protocols, nevertheless, defending Armenia’s position vis-à-vis the process.

“I too see risks, I too have concerns,” Sarkisian said in his opening remarks, and claimed that by signing the protocols Armenia and the Armenian nation was not sacrificing their convictions, but rather “we are paving the way for driving them home.” However, he did not specify as to how Armenia was going to achieve the latter.

Sarkisian pointed out that while many had advised him to keep the negotiations confidential, his and his administration’s approach was to hold the talks in public, since, he explained, the grievances—“and yes the enmity”—was between the people and not the upper echelons of government.

He said that the protocols were a mere beginning to a long and arduous process of addressing the various facets of normalization process.

“I consider this process as providing a minimum platform to begin a dialogue with the Turks. We have a lot of problems with Turkey, which must be addressed: economic, political and historical. I think that we are on the way of solving the problems,” said Sarkisian.

ARF Supreme Council Representative Armen Rustamian (center) speaks to delagates.

ARF Supreme Council Representative Armen Rustamian (center) speaks to delagates.

The ARF’s representative at the meeting, Supreme Council chairman Armen Rustamian, explained that major changes in the protocol could be made only during the parliamentary ratification process.

“This means that if there are really important and serious views the negotiating party would take them into consideration but it will be left of to that person’s discretion to address them,” explained Rustamian.

After reporting that foreign minister Eduard Nalbandian was also in attendance and his staff was taking notes on the discussion, Rustamian explained that it was unclear as to which proposal would be accepted.

“I understood it to mean that either we are signing whatever there is or we are not. This is unacceptable to us,” said Rustamian.

 

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2 Comments

  1. moris said:

    Armenian authorities shouldn’t have putted these two absolute pro Turkish protocols in front of Armenian people. Turkey intends not only to buy time but worse , she puts salt on our open wounds!

    No we have to deal wit the current situation and challenges.. Zhe party of power will ratify this protocols any way ”

    Read between the lines! Turkey is speculating that Armenia would not committee suicide and ratifies these protocols; therefore they didn’t mention Karabakh directly in the protocols.. .

    Even if Turkey is going to ratify these two documents, she will make the opening of border on Armenian concession in the issue of Karabakh.. Turkey as use to do , will start a new round of blackmailing and “bargaining” with EU/US… “to acieve a new compromis out of achieved compromis”–

    First: Azerbaijan has found a new way to “make “ her stands on NK clearer. This is to protest by UN against the visit of high ranking Armenian officials to NKR! Never the lese, if the party of power in Armenia is going to ratify these two protocols, maybe this would be a good opportunity for Armenia. to make her stands on Karabakh issue clear, and recognize the independent of NKR… NKR should decide on territories around NKR… failing to do tis.. Armenai will found herself in a trap, after protocols are ratified!…

    Second. Maybe Armenia should size the “unique” opportunity – speak to experts – and nullify the Treaty of Kars , if these two protocols are going to be ratified

    Third fact of Armenian Genocide can not be questioned!

    Fourth and most important: The officials from the party of power, should stop , cheating people by saying “there would be no historian commission” , “no precondition” and so on …. These officials are making fool of themselves and Armenian people.. They should better read between the lines of these protocols too!

    This is high time to recognize the independent of NKR. Before these two protocols come to force! Armenia should make her stands clear to the international community to avoid misunderstanding

  2. Alfred said:

    My views on the subject of the protocols are that they are one-sided in favor of Turkey in any kind of reading. I also believe that while living in the US as a diaspora Armenian, I must differ to my compatriots in Armenia to judge the pros and cons of these protocols as the primary party that must live with its consequences are them. Regarding the legitimacy of our current Armenian authorities to have the right (or not) to engage in these conversations with Turkey, I would say, again, as diasporan Armenians we have very little to say since for better or worse we (me included, so I am not judging anyone here) as a collective have given our vote already by NOT moving to Armenia and earning the right to weigh in. Finally, I believe that talking is always better than not talking to one another.

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