Sarkisian’s Party Members ‘Concerned’ About Turkey Diplomacy

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Senior members of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia expressed concern about the ongoing Turkish-Armenian rapprochement at a meeting with President Serzh Sarkisian on Monday night, top party representatives said on Tuesday.

Sarkisian, who is the Republican Party’s chairman, met with members of the party’s board to discuss his conciliatory policy on Turkey that has earned him praise in the West but is criticized by many in Armenia and its worldwide Diaspora.

According Samvel Nikoyan, a senior party member and deputy speaker of the Armenian parliament, board members asked Sarkisian numerous questions about various aspects of that policy. “All kinds of questions were asked,” he told RFE/RL. “Including ones expressing concerns, asking for clarifications and making some points.”

“I don’t think that everyone in the Republican Party of Armenia, which has 150,000 members, can be fully informed about those protocols and fully support them,” said Nikoyan. “Of course, there are people who have concerns. Everyone, including myself has concerns.”

Sarkisian himself acknowledged that his fence-mending talks with Turkey are fraught with pitfalls for the Armenian side when he met with leaders of 52 Armenian parties on September 17. But he said Armenia should continue them and demonstrate to the outside world that it is genuinely committed to making peace with his historical foe.

Sarkisian will start on October 1 a tour of the United States, France, Russia and Lebanon aimed at explaining his policy to sizable Armenian communities existing in those countries. Many community leaders have strongly criticized the agreements and, in particular, the planned formation of a Turkish-Armenian “sub-commission” charged with studying the Armenian Genocide. Thousands of Armenians took to the streets of Los Angeles on Sunday to condemn the deal.

Razmik Zohrabian, the Republican’s deputy chairman, downplayed the Diaspora outcry. “I would be surprised if the Diaspora Armenians were silent or fully supported this policy,” he told RFE/RL.

On Sunday, September 27, the Southern California Armenian community rallied at Pelanconi Park in Glendale to express its unified and unequivocal opposition to the Turkey-Armenia protocols and, with more than 10,000 people, sent a message to Yerevan that conceding to Turkish pressure was unacceptable.

Similar demonstrations have been held throughout the world since the announcement of the protocols on August 30. A thousand Armenians from throughout the Eastern United States demonstrated at the Armenian UN Mission in New York on September 19. A number of demonstrations and protests against the protocols have also been scheduled in Canada, France, Australia and Lebanon.

The international campaign to stop the protocols has also materialized on the internet at StopTheProtocols.com and through social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook.

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5 Comments

  1. Areg Mansuryan said:

    Serz Sargysyan is enjoying his last days in office. This impostor and traitor can not fool us anymore! This professional gambler must not be let to play with the destiny of Armenian people.

  2. Haro said:

    They better be concerned because if he signs the Protocol, there will be no more Hanrabedagan Republican Party in Armenia. After power change, we, the Armenian people, will throw all the members of the Republican Party out of their respective offices, in the same way we did to Levon Ter Petrossian and his “աւազակախումբ”.
    During the Soviet days, the soviets divided us, Armenians, between Diaspora and Armenia. Now, the Turkish / NATO / USA precolonization union starts with the prelude to put a wedge between us Armenians again. We cannot and should not allow this to happen again. Armenia should stand united by throwing all “դաւաճան”s out of the government, and replace them with qualified “Հայ Ազգը Սիրող եւ Պաշտող” peoples.

  3. papken hartunian said:

    I believe Mr. Sargisian is looking for excuse to get out of the deal. My prediction is that the fact he decides to travel abroad is a strong indication that he has change of heart. The protocols will net be ratified.

    Let us help him to help all of us.

    Long Live Armenia! Long Live Artsakh! Long Live Diaspora!

    Papken

  4. SA said:

    This article highlights a problem with the media in Hayastan. They report that questions were asked and criticisms voiced — but not the substance of the questions, responses, and criticisms. This type of reporting does not inform and educate the society. Rather it reflects a political culture that lacks transparency and refuses to keep the voters informed of any decision-making process. Asbarez staff writers should take note of this trend and point it out every time they provided information on these meetings. This point was also made on Horizon TV by Harut Sassounian — when he stated that there is a lack of discussion about the protocols in Armenia – unfortunately the other moderators on the program couldn’t grasp this concept.

  5. Levon Manucharian said:

    Levon Petrosyan was a foreign stooge. Serzh Sargsyan seemed okey at first but now he has revealed his true
    character of also being a foreign stoog. The Armenians will never trust the turks, azeris and all those foreign countries which are in siding with these barbarians. The Armenian people will never rest until justice is rendered to them. Liberated lands of Artsakh( Nagarno Karabagh ) will not be returned to azeri-turks. U.S.A
    must recognize and reafirm the fact of Armenian Genocide and Western Armenian lands must be returned to
    their rightful owners.

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