US, Switzerland Deny Turkey Guarantees Over Historical Commission

Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian and Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu sign protocols for establishing normal relations between their two countries in Zurich on October 10, 2009.

ANKARA (Combined Sources)—The US and Switzerland have refrained from giving assurances to Turkey that limitations will not be placed on the “mission and methodology” of a historic commission to probe the veracity of the Armenian Genocide, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily reported Monday.

The creation of the so-called fact-finding body is outlined in fence-mending protocols signed between Ankara and Yerevan in October of last year.  

Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu traveled to Bern last Friday to seek Swiss support for Ankara’s position that a ruling by the Armenian Constitutional Court on the protocols threatens to derail normalization efforts with Armenia. He will seek the same assurance from U.S. officials during a visit to Washington this month.

Armenia’s Constitutional Court on January 12 upheld the legality of the protocols, but stipulated that the protocols could have no bearing on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict or contradict Yerevan’s efforts to garner international recognition and condemnation for the Armenian Genocide as outlined by Armenia’s Declaration of Independence.

Despite assurances from Armenia that the Constitutional Court ruling would not affect the protocols process, Turkey’s foreign ministry began drafting a document late last month that delineates the Turkish position on what it calls the “incompatibilities” of Armenia’s Constitutional Court ruling and requires written legal guarantees from Yerevan that it will not include the court’s reservations in the documents.

Ankara was hoping to get the US and Switzerland to join this process. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu relayed Turkey’s concerns firsthand to European, American and Armenian officials during telephone conversations and on the sidelines of international conferences and reportedly discussed the matter with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a meeting in London in late January. Ankara also plans to apply to the OSCE Minsk Group and European Union.

But the general mood in Washington and other Western capitals is that Turkey’s reaction to the court ruling as “exaggerated” and it will be responsible for the possible failure of normalization efforts. Both Washington and Bern have said the court’s decision presents no legal obstacle to the implementation of the protocols.

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8 Comments

  1. Grigor Markaryan said:

    Put the Genocidal Turkey on trial. Armenians are waiting for a Nuremberg Trial of Turkey for its crimes against the humanity and particularily against the Armenian Nation.

  2. raffi said:

    The stability of Armenia in its positions removes The international pressure . Armenia can not be the only side that offers concessions. Peace in the region is an international demand and international interest . So Armenia shouldn’t be the only loser in this matter .

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  4. George Apelian said:

    Now it’s Turkeys turn to seek help & guarantees, from abroad and Armenia!!! Even the minimum set up by the Const. court, has its positive effect. If our authorities could exhibit some sort of courage before signing of the protocols, we could have a better negotiating position.We, at least, could have been spared the notorious and broad victory smile of Davoudoghlou’s!
    Let Turkey run after ( written) guarantees and promises!
    I think its never too late! Turkey can be cornered!

    George Apelian
    Lebanon

  5. Araxi said:

    Davidoghlu get a life. Your denial of the Genocide means nothing. The whole world knows your forefathers committed a Genocide against the unarmed Armenian people.

  6. Nairian said:

    Unfortunately our government in the RA was responsible also to start negotiating for peace with our number one enemy the Turks who is still continuing the trend of the Armenian Genocide by denying it for 95 years now. Our Sarkissian and Nalbandyan should never have accepted those degrading concessions by the enemy written in the protocols. Now that thanks to our Constitutional Court’s ruling it is written and stressed that indeed the Armenian Genocide MUST BE pursued and see justice by the governments of the world as it was indeed a Genocide, and Artsakh is definitely another matter outside of the protocols; then with God’s will the protocols will serve for the garbage and in blazing fire. Lets wait in much hope and prayers that it shall be so.

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