Armenia’s Leadership to Be Judged By History, Says Hovanessian

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YEREVAN (Yerkir)—Armenia’s leadership will face judgment before history if they sign the Turkey-Armenia protocols, warned a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Thursday during parliamentary hearings on the protocols.

Speaking to a charged chamber, Vahan Hovanessian, the leader of the ARF’s faction in parliament, explained that the current situation in the Armenian-Turkish relations has emerged because the Armenian authorities did not attempt to find alternatives to the simple approach they adopted.

He said that amateurism reigns in the government, and this applies to the diplomats as well. He also deplored the commissions of historians to be set up under these protocols. “Why do you think that we would have professionals – not amateurs- in this commission?” he asked.

“The setting up of such a commission supposes that the evidence we have so far on the Genocide is not sufficient, and we need more evidence to be discussed by the commission,” Hovannesian said.

Armen Rustamian, another member of the ARF parliamentary block and the head of its Supreme Council in Armenia, echoed Hovanessian’s concerns, adding also that the protocols have endangered the self-determination of the people of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Without resolving the Karabakh issue, Armenia opened a second front without any guarantees that the Armenian-Turkish relations would not be linked with the Karabakh conflict settlement, “Rustamian said.

“Neither Turkey, nor the international community can pressure Armenia to make more concession,” he said, adding that, with these protocols, Armenia has abandoned its principles of establishing relations with Turkey without pre-conditions. “The pre-conditions are there, though they are veiled,” he said.

“If they want to poison someone, they don’t necessarily write ‘poison’ on the glass. This is why there is no direction mention of the Treaty of Kars, or of the Genocide,” Rustamian said.

He added that by signing the protocols Armenia would forfeit its legal rights to Western Armenia and any chance of disputing the illegal Treaty of Kars in future.

“If we agree to the notorious commission on the historic events, we would contribute to Turkey’s campaign of denying the Genocide,” Rustamian said.

For ARF Political Director Giro Manoyan, “the best solution is not to sign the Armenian-Turkish protocols at all.”

Speaking in parliament Thursday, he said that if Armenia ends up signing the protocols, the executive and legislative branches of the government must make statements saying that “recognizing the border between Armenia and Turkey does not mean Armenia is giving up the rights rendered by US President Woodrow Wilson’s award of November 22, 1920.”

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