Nalbandian Says Armenia Initiated Protocols

1001nalbandian1YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Armenia initiated the Armenia-Turkish rapprochement when it invited the Turkish president to Armenia, said Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian Thursday at parliamentary hearing Thursday on the protocols and relations with Turkey.

He explained that Armenia approached Turkey by asking if they were ready to negotiate without asserting that Armenia set aside the Genocide recognition issue and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process—without preconditions. Nalbandian asserted that Armenia was clear that if such preconditions were to be set, it would not take part in any talks. Thus, he explained, began the process, which included the invitation to Armenia of the Turkish president.

When asked who authored the protocols, Nalbandian explained that there are always misconceptions that the protocols were written in Washington, London or another capital and are being forced on to Armenia. There’s always doubt on Armenia’s ability to initiate a process.

In his remarks, Nalbandian echoed his commander in Chief, Serzh Sarkisian’s justifications for pushing forward with the protocols, describing the document as the realization of Armenia’s “long awaited wish.”

“Armenia has been ready for normalization of relations with Turkey without preconditions ever since its declaration of independence and what we’re doing now is turning Armenia’s long-awaited wish into a reality,” he said. “Turkish-Armenian relations are not merely bilateral political relations and they include issues that have the impact of historical, moral-psychological and other factors.”

The parliamentary hearing, which was attended by non-members of parliament, academicians and experts was the beginning of a what the protocols called “public discussion.”

However, Nalbandian sought to target his remarks to the protocols’ detractors, namely the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Heritage party.

“Are there preconditions? Are we doubting the fact of genocide? Are we impeding the international recognition of Armenian Genocide? Is there a relation between the pre-signed documents and the talks on the Nagorno-Karabakh?” Nalbandian asked rhetorically. “No, no and once again, no.”

The international community, he added, “views the issue of Armenian Genocide not from the angle of Turkish-Armenian relations, but as a universal value and includes all kinds of issues such as human rights and prevention of genocide as the heaviest crime against humanity.”

“The claims that the issue of genocide will be limited to an issue between two states and will lose its universal significance if Turkey and Armenia engage in dialogue are false,” he claimed. “We are also sure that the pre-signed document doesn’t serve as a basis to cast doubt that the Armenian people are being deprived of the right to fight for historical justice.”

Armenia’s chief diplomat also attempted to defend his administration’s inability to decouple the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict from negotiations with Turkey.  Ankara has exploited its talks with Armenia to force a resolution to the Karabakh conflict favoring its ally Azerbaijan. But according to Nalbandian the “allegations that [the Karabakh conflict] is connected to [protocols]” are false. “The preconditions, let alone the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, are not even mentioned in the documents.”

He said both he and Sarkisian have repeatedly made statements stressing that no link between the Turkey-Armenia process and the Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks exists, adding that he believes the international community also believes in that principle.

“The OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairing countries have also spoken about that several times,” he said. “After my meeting with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the latter reaffirmed the US position on the above mentioned and the Co-Chairs issued a statement on that today.”

“Wittingly or unwittingly, we have accepted the Turkish preconditions and allowed an extremely serious deviation from our foreign policy course,” said Armen Rustamian, the chairman of the parliamentary commission on foreign relations and  a member of the ARF parliamentary faction.

The creation of a “sub-commission of historian to look into the Armenian Genocide was also criticized. ARF parliamentary bloc chairman and Bureau member Vahan Hovannesian said that “the creation of that sub-commission presupposes the erasing of all evidence that the genocide took place. It signals  that the evidence of the Genocide is not strong.”
 Nalbandian responded by saying the panel would not set out to determine the fact of the Genocide but will serve as a forum for discourse on numerous historical issues.

“This sub-commission has no other mandate,” he said. “Nor does it have any time limits because we realize that this process can be lenghthy. It may take 10 years, maybe 20 years, maybe 50 years, or maybe longer.”

“The idea is that by talking, opening up to each other, our societies could reach some common denominators,” added the minister.

Nalbandian ended his speech by making a reference to Sarkisian’s opening remarks during a recent meeting with Armenia’s political parties. “Turkey and Armenia have many issues to solve…Let us understand who is going to do what and what we all are going to do together. I think that this is the most important.”

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6 Comments

  1. Areg Mansuryan said:

    Again and again Nalbanbyan is trying his old method of fooling the public. He says there are no preconditions in the protocols and that Armenia will not accept any preconditions. If one reads the current protocols it is full of preconditions set by Turkey and against national interests of Armenian nation. It is the same protocol of preconditions set by Turkey which Serz Sargsyan wants to sign under. Serzg Sargsyan and Eduard Nalbandyan are either blind and can not read the preconditions in the protocols or simply think that the Armenian people are ignorant of the true facts.Plus who wants to seat down and argue with Turks for 100 years on veracity of the fact of the Armenian Genocide. The best solution to all of this is resignation of Nalbandyan, impeachment of Serz Sarksyan and refusal of Armenian soccer team to go to Turkey. We do not need imposter leaders. Long Live Armenia. Long Live Independent Artsakh and LONG LIVE HAI TAD.

  2. Alexander Arustamyan said:

    What can we expect from Nalbandian who is a high-ranking officer of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Central Intelligence Board (GRU) and a Russian citizen? It is obvious that under any circumstances he’ll be executing his superiors’ directived and not the interests and aspirations of the Armenian people.

  3. Lusik said:

    Dear Friend,

    Please give me a hint, why no news agency pays any attention to what is happening?

  4. Hovannes said:

    One reason that the Diaspora is up in arms over the “joint historical commission” is we KNOW that Armenia since independence has done a horrible job on the genocide issue. In other words, Armenia’s leaders are not to be trusted on this issue.
    Armenia’s leaders does not criticize countries for denying the genocide. It is silent. It gives no moral or public relations support to the Diaspora when the latter is using all it might to bring about genocide acknowledgment
    Armenia does not cooperate with the Diaspora except to hold an occasional genocide conference.
    Armenia’s leaders do not know the genocide issue well. I bet that hardly any of them have ever read a book on the Genocide.
    I bet that 99% of Armenia’s top leaders know next to nothing about the history of the Armenian genocide or what Turkey did to Armenia and Armenians during and after the genocide.
    Let me say it as clearly as I can, and I hate to have to say this: The leaders of Armenia have basically spit on the Diaspora, while taking its cash to stuff their pockets. We are all not supposed to say this because non-Armenians may use it against us. They are ALREADY using it against us. Armenia has fallen for the Turkish and US trick of dividing the Diaspora from Armenia.
    I believe that President Sargsian himself knows nothing about the Armenian genocide or Armenian history.
    All these people were brought up during the Soviet period when nationalistic education was prohibited. The Russians saw to that.
    Now, as adults, they know less than the average 10 year old Armenian American child as far as Armenian history and the record of Armenian – Turkish relations. Armenia’s leaders are totally disarmed information-wise.
    When was the last time you heard an intelligent word about the genocide out of Sargsian’s mouth?
    All the man knows is that there is a genocide memorial in Yerevan that he lays flowers at every year. He does not know and he does not care. That means that Armenia is going to mishandle the joint historical commission.
    I would like to see the ARF blanket Yerevan with a million flyers telling the population why the protocols are a bad deal. Is this too much to ask? Can the ARF get flyers out to people explaining some elementary history about Turkish deceptions? I am told that even today the history of the genocide and other acts of Turkish aggression against Armenians is not taught well in Armenian schools.

  5. Leoaryatsi said:

    let them get their 15 minutes of international fame and applause. they have a month left after they foolishly try to sell Armenians’ rights.

  6. Mihran keheyian said:

    Serzh and Nalbandian are the ultimate liars and traitors, we should treat them as outcasts and put then on trial once they have been removed from office, anything less will not be good enough, justice must be seen to prevail.

    They are deliberetly trying to focus the attention of the debate by stating that the Armenia wants the borders open, the real question is not that, at what price do we want the borders open and talk openly about them, you must be blind not see the preconditions set there by the Turks in the form of a historic commission and the integrity of the present borders and start debating these points

    The US state department is helping Serzh by financing to the tune of $80000 through NGO’s in Armenia in order to organise debates in the provinces, so that they can direct the debates in their preferred scenario, namely to except the protocols, the same old tactics just like TARC that time pushed through AAA. another stooge of the US state department. As for not having no coverage regarding the opposition to these protocols do you honestly expect the western media to help us against the protocols, of course not its their baby, they are trying there utmost to help Serzh by spinning the story in the diaspora in favour of Serzh.

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