YEREVAN (PanArmenian.net)—If signed, the protocols on establishing relations between Armenia and Turkey will give legal power to the treaty of Kars, signed between Kemalist Turkey and the Soviet government on October 13, 1921, according to Arman Melikyan, the former Foreign Minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
The fifth clause in the first protocol establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries requires “the the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by the relevant treaties of international law.”
The only relevant treaty defining the de facto borders between the Republic of Armenia and Turkey is the Treaty of Kars, signed between Turkey and Bolshevik Russia, as well as the Soviet Republics of Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. Armenia, as vassal state at the time, was forced to relinquish its rights to the treaty of Sevres and cede control of Nakhichevan and Nagorno Karabakh to Azerbaijan. The treaty was not reconfirmed following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“The Kars agreement stipulated the acknowledgement of borders between Turkey and the Caucasian states: Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. At present, the protocols specifies only the Republic of Armenia’s de facto border with Turkey,” Melikyan explained, adding that Yerevan should “annul the Kars agreement, and then continue its negotiations with Turkey.”
Melikyan added also that neither Azerbaijan nor Georgia have acknowledged their borders with Turkey, thus automatically annulling the agreement. As a result, Nakhichevan, which was given to Azerbaijan by the Kars treaty, legally does not belong to Azerbaijan.
According to Melikyan, Armenia will find itself at an unfavorable position vis-à-vis Turkey if it signs the protocols. “I don’t want such fate to befall our country,” he said, adding that Armenia will be at the mercy of the Turks if the Kars treaty is indirectly ratified through the protocols. “We have to clarify our relations with Turkey.”