U.S. Praises Armenian Court Ruling On Protocols

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL)–The United States welcomed a ruling by Armenia’s Constitutional Court late on Friday, effectively dismissing Turkey’s claims that it runs counter to the Turkish-Armenian fence-mending agreements.

“We view the court decision as a positive step forward in the ratification process of the normalization protocols between Turkey and Armenia,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon said in written comments sent to RFE/RL. “The court decision permits the protocols, as they were negotiated and signed, to move forward towards parliamentary ratification, and does not appear to limit or qualify them in any way.”

“We are confident that both Turkey and Armenia take their commitment to the protocols seriously, and we urge timely ratification of the protocols by both countries,” added Gordon.

Despite Gordon’s upbeat statement on the court ruling, the situation remains tense with the vast majority of Armenians–especially Armenian Americans–opposing the protocols. The Armenian National Committee of America responded to Asst. Secretary Gordon’s interpretation of the accords.

“Assistant Secretary Gordon, rather than constantly arm-twisting Armenia, this time in the form of public statements misreading the Armenian Constitutional Court’s decision on the Protocols – or, more precisely, reading the State Department’s interests into its legally binding limits and qualifications – should leave decisions regarding the rights, security, and future of the Armenian nation to the Armenian people,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA.

“The constant drumbeat of State Department pressure on Armenia to accept these one-sided accords is profoundly troubling to Armenian American voters, particularly in the wake of the Obama-Biden Administration’s broken pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide, its dramatic cuts in economic aid to Armenia, its efforts to tilt the U.S. military aid balance in favor of Azerbaijan, and its drive to impose the patently undemocratic Madrid Principles on the Nagorno Karabagh Republic,” Hamparian added.

The comments followed a reported phone conversation between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The Anatolia news agency quoted an unnamed Turkish Foreign Ministry official as saying that Davutoglu reiterated Ankara’s claims that the Armenian court’s interpretation of the protocols’ implications contradicts their “essence and substance.” Davutoglu said earlier on Friday that he will urge his U.S. and Swiss counterparts to put pressure on the Armenian leadership.

Washington’s reaction to the Turkish claims represents a significant boost to Yerevan’s position in the row which has raised more questions about the success of the U.S.-backed normalization process. U.S. officials have repeatedly urged Armenia and Turkey to implement the landmark agreements without preconditions and within a “reasonable” period of time.

“Our position remains the same,” said Gordon. “We support the normalization process, which we believe contributes to peace and stability in the Caucasus. What is critical is to keep the parties focused on the vital importance of moving ahead.”


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  2. MGL said:

    Peace and stability in the Caucasus will happened when USA will tell Turks that they are wrong and take the Armenian side.   But USA still has bases in the “friendly” country. So, it will keep kissing turks asses.

  3. Anthony Ekmekjian said:

    I believe the protocols were the right thing to do. As an AGBU member, I fully agree with AGBU’s support for the protocols.

    • Nairian said:

      You support the protocols that the AGBU is completely on the wrong track.  Here’s to you and to AGBU what the protocols are all about and what it means.  By having Armenia ratify the protocols; here are the pre-conditions that Armenia, the US and the European powers do not wish to admit it, yet it is there alright.  Thus by ratifying the protocols:

      1. Armenia will admit that Western Armenian lands that were stolen by Turkey after they atrociously annihilated more than 1.5 million Armenians; that those lands belong to Turkey.  Armenia will confirm the illegal Kars treaty by signing and ratifying the protocols.

      2.  After 30 years when a dignified and a professional historical commission have worked towards the Armenian Genocide, the denyalist Turkey wishes to create another commission with Armenia to as if see if at all an Armenian Genocide happened or not.  In another words the DENYALIST Turkey wishes to re-create history and Armenia is taking part in it with the signing of the protocols.

      3.  Our Artsakhian lands that belonged to Armenians for thousands of years; will be in great jeopardy and may be returned to the Azeri/Tatars who ate Armenians alive on broad daylight in 1988 in Baku, Sumgait and in various other cities.  The Armenians in Artsakh will be in harms way when the protocols are signed and Artsakh will be unjustly given back to the Azeri thieves and murderors.

      Let there be no mistake that if and when may God forbid the protocols are ratified with the three pre-conditions in favour of the Genocidal Turkey, Armenia’s and Artsakh’s sovereignty will be in jeopardy along with all the Armenian people in it.

    • Sarkis said:


      Please tells us in your own words, as an Armenian, how could it be the right thing to:
      1. Accept the Armenian Genocide to be studied by a commission of historians, i.e. putting in doubt in front of the whole world.
      2. Recognize Turkey’s current borders which were not validated by legitimate governments in power; i.e. erasing all hopes for genocide reparations and land claims.
      3. Drop the self-determination clause from the associated territorial integrityof (adjacent) nations;  i.e. denying this right to our brothers in Artsakh, meaning, giving them back to the Azeris.

      Do you agree that any Armenian in his/her right mind should agree with the above three (3) points?

      Lastly, if I’m not mistaken the AGBU is not a Political Party, and it should stay out of this debate.

      Do you know if  the new AGBU is still a considered to be a “benevolent” corporation ?

    • Papken Hartunian said:

      AGBU was established to avoid Armenians being involved in political activities. According to the AGBU’s bylaws, it is non-political organization. Therefore, it should not involve in political issues. It is not surprising that its mission have been accomplished and has produced fruits like you. The protocols are dead. Pro-protocols shouls start to design another set of doom protocols against Artsakh. I am sure soon we will face another battle.

    • Varant T. said:

      As usual the AGBU is looking for handouts in all the wrong places. NEWSFLASH: The Armenian government has no money to siphon your way so save your slavish lap-dog pandering and misguided rhetoric as there won’t be a ROI for you or your organizations petulant pretentiousness.
      Will Baron Ekmekjian and the AGBU ‘leadership’ show the same audacity in supporting the wrongheaded protocols when the RA backs away from the protocols?

    • Harout said:

      First and foremost AGBU is devided in two groups.  The group leader that you are talking about he is for the protocol because he has investments in Armenia and he is worried he might have investment damages!!
      Second I believe you have not understood or have not read the “Protocol” 
      It is so obvious about all the traps.  I also realize you haven’t been updating your self about the new developments… High Court not recognizing their borders, also about Genocide… as a follow up Turkey is Outraged.

    • Harout said:

      I also believe you are one of those who has spit on the “TRUE” Armenian Flag “YERAKOUYN” when Armenia was not free, when it was part of Soviet Union!!

    • Hagop Arshagouni said:

      Dear Mr. Ekmekjian,

      As a member of AGBU, could you please explain to me why AGBU is involved in politics, since it is a philanthropic, not a political organization.

    • hrair said:

      You and your corporation that you are supporting have sold out the Armenian nation. You have redefined the meaning of the word traitors. Your organization that you support so much closed down 33 schools just in Lebanon, neglecting Lebanese of Armenian descent and denied thousands of young Armenians an Armenian education. Just wondering all that money that is endowed to your corporation is there any accountability for it? During the cold war, your organization supported the communist regime in Armenia and Russia, and now you and your organization have sided with the turks and the turkish government to overthrow and hand over Armenia on a silver platter to your turkish and state department masters. Do you actually believe that in 1922 an orphan from smyrna showed up in Detroit and became a multi millionaire. Here is a clue, hire a forensic accountant and he/she will prove that it was the Melkonian brother’s endowment money that was stolen and ended up in Detroit. Then again you might want to ask Mrs. Louise Simone, I’m sure you can get a hold of her in Etchmiadzin.

  4. Lusik said:

    With almost same words he was calming down Armenians right after October 10. He has no “needle under his tong” – as my mam was saying. He can lie with no boundary (like his boss).
    His mouth accustomed to lying serves only one thing – to save his job. It is his obsession – young-turk style return of ottoman empire. So, Armenian and Turkish, and partially, Azeri presidents put all their power to keep Gordon Ph. in Clinton H. office.

  5. Msho Sultan said:

    To Anthony Ekmekjian:
    Yeah, yeah, AGBU, AAA… We know, we know…. Armenians in the Diaspora know you well, and your statement is to no surprise. Try to understand that the majority of Armenians are not essentially opposing the establishment of bilateral relations and opening of the borders. It is the Turkish PRECONDITIONS that are reflected in the protocols that make them furious. In that sense, given the language of the protocols, they were NOT the right thing to do. You wanna know what would be the right thing to do? I’ll tell you: “The governments of Turkey and Armenia hereby agree to establish diplomatic relations and open the coom borders.” PERIOD. This is how in the entire civilized world caoutries establish relations. Plea be aware and pass this trivial truth to your central borad. Good luck…

  6. Hovsep (Osik) Movsessian said:

    Where were you Madam US Secretary of State and Mr. Assistant Secretary of State when Turkish foreign minister officially violating the so-called “Protocol” in an interview with Al Jazira reporter overtly setting the Republic of Gharabagh issue as an precondition for taking the protocol to the Turkish Majlis?
    It looks like we were scared again to offend Turkey; our so-called strongest Muslim ally in that region.
    It looks like our Government is sending a strong message to Turkey by Mr Gordon’s comment and by a military coup attempt again, is it just for protocol or for the Turkish relation with Israel or Both?  


  7. Ishkhan Babajanian MD said:

    Armenian  Politicians, Government and  entire Armenian  Nation   should  know  that  all this   Circus  are   continuation   of   the  political  game  which   they are playing   over and over   more  than a century  against   Credulous  Armenians  And  our   Khrimian Hairik’s words ring again.

  8. Sako said:

    Why do we let the US and Russia “pronounce” judgements on the protocols and what Armenia should or should not do as if their word comes  down from Mt. Olympus? 
    While we  all recognize the power of the US, Russia, and Europe, does that mean that Armenia has to be so mealy-mouthed and cowardly?  I don’t see any pride over there, except in Artsakh.

    Here’s the thing that I find hard to understand: one might think that for a people hardened by the Soviet experience and used to being corrupt, criminally inclined, and thus hard-nosed, that they’d be a lot of tougher.

  9. Armen said:

    Anthony E. as an AGBU member, on what bases you believe that protocols were right ! I am so far not convinced that protocols are good  for the Armenians, as the way they are been done.

  10. Tro said:

    To Anthony Ekmekjian:  As an AGBU member, you fully agree with anything the corrupt Armenian government does, no matter how wrong and detrimental to our national interests their policies are.  To the AGBU, being obedient to the government is the most important thing.

  11. Angela Achikgiozian said:

    Would be nice to know what Anthony Ekmekjian the Armenian, whose ancestors were slaughtered in 1915, thinks about the protocols, not the AGBU member Anthony Ekmekjian. Enough of this “following the position of the party” or of the “big boss” attitude. Please, for once think not as an apparatchik, not as a slave, not as a businessman with prospects of gaining something from protocols, not as someone who has been given a position or opportunity to make a living and who cannot let his or her true beliefs to be heard in the fear of losing something material…but as a human being whose very deep core rights have been violated and continue to be violated. This message is not for Anthony Ekmekjian personally, but for all those who do not see the bigger picture.

    • Paykar said:

      The assistant secretary of state couldn’t have said it better. Both Armenia and Turkey must sign the protocols into action and move forward in order to stabilize the region and continue to progress in the right direction.

  12. Krikor said:

    This “protocol ” is nothing else that a PR for the “democratic”Turkey.The real intent was to force Armenian into a humuliating situation .The  Turk was, is and will remain Turk. And to Anthony Ekmekjian I would remind him that during the communist era,AGBU was playing the official tune of the government as well

  13. Jay said:

    As an Armenian I fully disagree with the protocols. So,what is your point Anthony?

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  15. immortal Souls of western Armenia risen said:

    amot is not a severe enough response to AGBU and its members, but in our language it has a deeper meaning, than amot…. so, but am not here for name calling, am saying it out of heartache that my people haven’t sat down to understand each other, its so heart wrenching. I do want to praise, Aram Hamparian, on his response, he really done good, you done good Aram jan, you done good!! Turks are not gonna stop pushing but, we have our path so… paykar paykar minchev verch joghovoort..

  16. Tamar Keshishian said:

    To Anthony Ekmekjian:  AGBU and AAA stand apart from the prevailing majority of Armenians both in Armenia and the Diaspora in terms of their overwhelming outrage for humiliating, unjust, ruthlessly imposed anti-Armenian protocols. I think the majority of Armenians could have shared your opinion that the protocols were the right thing to do, had they not contained any preconditions, but simply stated, as widely accepted in the international practice, that the Turkish and Armenian governments agree to establish diplomatic relations and open the border. Period. As they stand now the protocols are NOT the right thing to do. The way they’ve been imposed on Armenia is wrong. The way Serj and his foreign minister were made submissive to signing them is wrong. Provisions containing the creation of historical commission, recognition of existing borders, and acknowledgment of international treaties are dead wrong. The very objective of these protocols is wrong because they serve the interests of Russia, the U.S., and the EU, and subservient Armenian government is being used as a tool to advance them. The list can go on and on, and I’m really sorry that the blind support of the inherently corrupt, unelected, unpopular, and unrepresentative regime of Serjik Sarkissian makes you and the organization you represent see the trees and not the forest. The people both in Armenia and the Diaspora raise their voice against the protocols and fight against them. When the protocols ultimately fail, we will remember the position of both AGBU and AAA, and, I’m sorry to say, ‘Armenians’ like you.

  17. Gagik said:

    These who uses arm twisting policy towards Armenia, did their dirty job long time ago, almost a year or so, by closing down the Western Union money transfer services to Armenia, to make sure Armenians can’t get support (financial) from their foreign relatives. Ones you can’t have financial support from abroad, then this case you will be weak and your arm will be twisted easily.
    But these who think Armenians will bend for their ‘poweres’ will be surprised, that our WILL POWER is beyond their thinking. And pressuring Armenia to Forget President Wilson’s Map Sealed by Presidential Seal and Senate Have approved, they are wrong, WE HAVE OUR LANDS USURPED by turks and as an Armenian I demand my Motherlands BACK! My blood didn’t forget and WILL NEVER FORGIVE these who killed my great grand parents in 1915-1923 in turkey, living only few children survive! I will never FORGET communists massacre in Armenian Soviet republic in 1921. I will never Forget an ethnic Cleansing in Nakhijevan, in north Lory, Baku and Sumgait Massacre and lastly the Javakhq POlitical Pressure on Ethnic Armenians today!

  18. Berj said:

    There is no reason to applaud Phillip Gordon or the US State Department for supporting Armenia’s Constitutional Court ruling on the Protocols; Phillip Gordon not only follows (or perhaps not) what should be best for the US, but what is best for Israel.

    Gordon’s support for the protocols is to punish Erdogan and Turkey’s hostile attitude towards Israel. It is pure politics.  Phillip Gordon bodes ill for Armenia.

  19. Hovsep (Osik) Movsessian said:

    After several complains in regards of my missing comments; now it shows :
    Your comment is awaiting moderation”
    I don’t  understand what moderation needs to be done, I’m expressing my opinion and I’m responsible for my comments; remember we have freedom of speech for all then how come 2 comments after mine aren’t “awaiting for moderation” and my comments always falls in that trap?
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
    There are no level and /or exception in there; it equally and totality applies to everyone otherwise its discrimination.
    Regardless if someone else sees it or not; for myself it is very embarrassing to see those tags, it implies that my name is in your black list; because I’m a hooligan and my record is not clean, I’ve seen profanity in some comments passing straight through but my comments (with no profanity) always hits that bumps.
    Please remove that restriction from my comments, or remove my name from your list.
    Best Regards,

  20. Garo said:

    For all those “patriot” Armenians, who live in the states or any other country of the world, i would like to invite them to Armenia. Come and live for a month here with your fellow brothers and sisters, see the situation here, the difficulties our people are facing every day and afterwards decide whether the government is corrupt or not. Talking from across the planet is very easy. Our president is not a traitor, he has even fought in the Artsach war, do you think he will give up our national interests that easy? Once you start understanding the difficulty of our countrys situation, you will start seeing things in much better perspective. My ancestors were slaughtered, and i am a Tashnag, but most of all i am an Armenian, who likes to see a powerfull, prosperous, independent and united Armenia.

    PS – Those who think they are real patriots, do you seriously think we can pressure Turkey for admitting the genocide they committed? We even saw the way we were tricked by Mr.Obama. The only way we can make Turkey admit its crime, is through dialogue, not with closed borders. Eventually Turkey will admit the crime against our ancestors. 
    I am totally against of giving up lands back to the azeris, not even 1cm of land of Artsach shall be given back to the azeris, perhaps few of the surrounding safety regions shall be returned, but Artsach will only be given by blood. This is what our president said many times. Is he a traitor?

    • harutiunyan said:

      Only power and power only might force Turkey recognize the Armenian genocide. But the reason is more complex. Christian society has developed a concept of redemption. Jew have used this christian culture for forcing Germany to recognize Holocaust.  I  have spoken to muslims of very different countries. They all say “muslim does not committ genocide”.  There is no concept of redemption for the crime against “unveliever”. It might be correct to say, that there is no concept of humanity – the world is divided between “us” and “others” (“unbelievers”). So, only mixing of turkish social consiousness with western  one might eventually lead to a civil recognition of crime againts humanity. This was the goal of Hrant, I think.

  21. Kevork Chavush said:

    I’d like to add my voice of concern as a 31 year old Armenian American to Asbarez about the HUSTLER CASINO advertisement in the top right hand corner of our screens. It is really unnecessary and doesn’t send the right message to our readership young and old. I understand there is a need to pay the bills. However, other Armenian media outlets have managed to do without such adds. In fact they advertise about Armenian events (like the Armenian Heritage Cruise – Armenian Weekly), or the their Tech firms that contribute to the layout/posting/security etc. of the content online and website in general. I mean anything else will do…
    Assuming that some of you own businesses above (law firms,bakery’s, jewelers, medical office, engineering firms, NGO’s etc.), would any of you be interested in marketing your product, service or what have you to an international audience of Asbarez replacing the Hustler Casino advertisement?
    I don’t mean to distract all of us from commenting on the story at hand. And in reality we have bigger problems on the table right now. But the advertisement struck a cord with me a while back and I thought I would put it out there now for any feedback from anyone.
    A simple yay or nay will due.

  22. Berj said:

    To misguided “Garo” post:

    –  Turkey closed its borders with Armenia (not the other way around)
    –  Hostile border closure is an act of war under international law.
    –  Turkey’s border closure for nearly 20 years is estimated at a loss of $750 million per year ( x 20) by the IMF.
    –  Normalization of relations between two countries  can not depend on a third country – International law.
    –  Turkey’s hostile attitude and blockade of Armenia contributed to the immigation of 1.5 million Armenians to seek economic survival elsewhere outside Armenia.
    The list of Turkish hostility is way too long to post.  And, “Garo” believes he can trust the State of Turkey to allow Armenia to exist.  Get real!  Another thing, your English is too flawless to be a native Hayastanti 😉

    • Garo said:

      To “Berj”. First of all i am not a native Hayastantsi, but i have a home in Yerevan and i travel to our homeland quite often. Did i mention any where that i trust the state of turkey? NO! It’s really funny Berj, you write down the odds of the closure of the border with turkey, (the $750 million, and the 1.5 million Armenians immigration) and yet you are against the opening of the border.  Let me ask you Berj, whom do you trust? the US? or Russia? the sooner you realise that nobody is with us, the sooner you will understand the situation we are in right now. One more thing, did you know that there are many Armenian women who fleed to Turkey (especially in Trabzon) and work as “you know what “. Can you imagine that? It makes me sick when i hear this, but sadly its the truth. So don’t tell me the borders must remain closed. I am not saying we will pull our pants down and beg turkey to open the borders, i am saying the borders must open with NO PRECONDITIONS (no stopping of the genocide campaign, not even give 1 cm of Artsach, and no involvment of third parties), we cannot be isolated for ever as a country.

  23. Berj said:

    Once again, Phillip GORDON  is hailing the protocol to punish Turkey for its anti-Jewish stance.  Turkey’s [Erdogan] has accused Israel of Genocide in Gaza, among other accusations.

  24. H. Garabedian said:

     Foreign Policy is not based on what is right–it is based on vital interests. Philip Gordon is doing exactly what he is supposed to do. He represents the interests of our country.  If Armenian interests coincide with the interests of the USA-great. If not, while regretable, he has to pursue our interests. Foreign policy only serves doing the “right thing” when the “right thing” as a minimum does not counter national interests.

     Many have made the point that no genocide should be forgotten and the fruits of genocide should be denied to the perpetrators.  A valid argument, but abstracted when compared to the exigent nature of our military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and more broadly the war on terror.

    Turkey is perceived as an enabling factor to our country’s foreign policy. Unfortunately, Armenia does not play in that game at the same level as Turkey. The Armenian lobby in the US is substantial but still not sufficient  to close the gap between the importance of Turkey vs. Armenia to vital US interests.

    Armenians are on their own–looking to others to achieve their foreign policy objectives (or blame them for foreign policy shortfalls) is probably not going to work any better going forward than in the past. Armenia will  have to draw on its own resolve and resources to attain its ends. There is no question about resolve but resources are very thin.

    • Harutiounian said:

      Foreign policy office does search of available model-solutions. It picks up one which fits best. It gives O’K if some other products emerge from that model, unless these products are hard to neglect.
      Gordon is the author of such model. The by product of his model envisions sweeping out Armenians from the map. In order to make it valued as “insignificant” loss, he along with the mainstream process drives process of trivialization of all vital for the Armenian nation issues.
      So, at least we have to separate clearly, what is the USA foreign policy (which might be very positive for the Armenian nation, in general) and who are contractors hired to do the job. Gordon is just an indifferent, greedy person. Look at his face from pictures taken during his first visit to Armenia.

  25. Berj said:

    If Turkey would like to be the “corridor” for the West to access central Asian gas and oil it needs open borders with Armenia.  Otherwise, Turkey is a dead-end corridor for the US State Department and company.  If Azerbaijan would like to export its oil to the West bypassing Russia it needs open borders with Armenia.
    You might ask what about Georgia?  The US SD and EU have deemed Georgia unstable and unreliable to add additional oil & gas pipelines.   Why would Russia not allow the West access to central Asian gas & oil via Georgia?   And under any circumstance would not allow Gergia to join NATO (and maybe EU)?  Because Russia stands to lose leverage (if West has alternative to gas & oil independent of Russia), it will not only lose revenue but will be substantially weaker.
    So, to “H. Garabedian” you can do what is best for your country and I will do what is best for my Armenia.
    Also, keep in mind that the easiest way to win over your opponent is to make the opponent believe that it is weak and incapable.   Armenia has a lot of resources, potential and strategic geo-politics.

  26. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    U.S. State Department praised Armenian authorities also after 10/27/99. I am afraid 9/11 can repeat!

  27. Berj said:

    Dear Garo,
    Armenia’s problems are not the closed Turkish border per se; corruption is!  Turkey along with the US Sate Department bode ill for Armenia; Russia is looking after its own interest.  Turkey is not going to change its hostility towards Armenia – not now, not in the near future , and not in this millennium.   So, my two cents worth – jut forget about Turkey opening its borders – focus on corruption and the rule of law!  That will eliminate the problems you are describing.
    Iran is a strategic neighbor!  Iran needs access to the EU bypassing Turkey – the only direct link for Iran to Europe is via Armenia.  That’s why Iran is investing in oil and gas pipelines; railroad, highways, and numerous energy projects – from Tabriz to Yerevan to Batumi.  Georgia can be negotiated with.    The other social problems you mention are indeed sad and regrettable, and it happens in every nation – focus on eliminating corruption – it is the real enemy within.