French Armenian Organizations Issue Statement Opposing Protocols

pan_en_31658PARIS–The Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF) has issued a statement opposing the protocols between Armenia and Turkey.

Below is the statement:

“On August 31, Armenia and Turkey under the mediation of Switzerland promulgated two protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Yerevan and Ankara have a period of six weeks before giving their final approval and then the documents will be ratified by their parliaments. In this context the CCAF wishes to clarify its position on major issues.

The Armenian Genocide is not negotiable and it cannot be examined by a sub-intergovernmental commission. History is already written, no one can deny this fact acknowledged as genocide by historians, lawyers, international institutions, and over 20 states, including France.

Moreover, genocide requires moral, political and material compensation. The CCAF is therefore requesting clarification on the 5th paragraph of the Protocol on establishing diplomatic relations that the two countries, “affirm their mutual recognition of their existing border as defined by relevant treaties in international law”.

If the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not quite rightly mentioned in the “roadmap”, its publication will coincide, once in force, with the Armenian-Azerbaijani meeting scheduled in mid-October in Moldova. In this context, the point 3 of the Protocol should also be clarified.

The right to self-determination, the right to participate in the political settlement of the conflict, ensured security, live peacefully on their land directly should be clearly recognized to the Republic of NK” connected to the Republic of Armenia.

We, French citizens of Armenian descent, have the right to expect from the Turkish government an act in accordance with the courage of the Turkish civil society that handles the question of the Armenian genocide with responsibility. For the Armenian taboo to disappear irreversibly in Turkey, we ask Ankara to stop its state denial and to abrogate as soon as possible its repressive arsenal – 301 and 305 articles of the penal code – that threatens anyone who would offend the dignity of Turkey by evoking publicly the genocide of the Armenians. It is the Turkish government’s responsibility to adapt to the message of its civil society willing to revisit its past and walk in the direction of history.

The CCAF, in favor of a sincere Armenian-Turkish dialogue and of the establishment of relations between Armenia and Turkey, also asks Ankara to stop the blockade it has been exerting on Armenia since 1993. Allowing the ratification of the “road map” before the reopening of the border with Armenia is a precondition and goes counter to stated principles of normalization without any preconditions. The duty of memory in Turkey cannot be done by taking Armenia hostage. We have been too long used to see the Turkish authorities using the slightest occasion of opening to save time, to swallow up the Armenian issue and dissuade the international community to recognize the genocide of 1915.

Finally, the CCAF reaffirms its attachment to the Armenia-Diaspora strategic partnership and calls on all the components of the Armenian nation to reinforce it.”

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