Armenia Again Threatens To Scrap Agreement with Turkey

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–President Serzh Sarkisian made late on Thursday his most explicit threat yet to annul Armenia’s normalization agreements with Turkey in what appeared to be a tense conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

The two men spoke in Kiev on the sidelines of the swearing-in of Ukraine’s newly elected president, Viktor Yanukovich. Davutoglu told Turkish journalists there that the “meeting” centered on Turkish-Armenian relations and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“We reviewed the Turkish -Armenian normalization relationship in its entirety with open hearts today, including our anxieties and the obstacles we face,” Davutoglu said, according to “Hurriyet Daily News.” “We spoke about Armenian- Azerbaijan relations and the activities of the Minsk Group as related to the Karabakh issue.”

Sarkisian’s press office clarified that the two held on talks as such, saying that Davutoglu “approached and exchanged views” with the Armenian president during a reception hosted by Yanukovich. It said Sarkisian told him that the ratification of the Turkish-Armenian “protocols” must be completed “within the shortest possible time.”

“Or else, as was stated before, the Republic of Armenia will withdraw its signatures from the protocols,” the office said in a statement circulated on Friday.

Sarkisian first publicly warned of such possibility in early December. He instructed the Armenian government to draft legal amendments regulating Yerevan’s possible pullout from international treaties. The Armenian parliament adopted them in the final reading on Thursday.

Sarkisian was quoted by his office as also telling Davutoglu that Turkey could open its border with Armenia before ratifying the protocols. “A country dreaming about a region without borders should take the first step and end Armenia’s blockade,” he said, scoffing at Ankara’s stated efforts to promote peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

“If Azerbaijani pressure does not allow Turkey’s parliament to ratify the protocols, then nothing keeps Turkey’s executive authority from opening, even before the protocol ratification, the border between the two states which it itself had closed,” he added.

Sarkisian also ruled out any Turkish involvement in the Karabakh peace process. He pointed to Turkey’s “unilateral military assistance” to Azerbaijan and “biased statements” on Karabakh made by Turkish leaders.

In a related development, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaffirmed on Thursday Washington’s support for the quick and unconditional ratification of the protocols. “We are working very hard to assist Armenia and Turkey in their efforts and we would like to continue to support that effort and not be diverted in any way at all,” Clinton told U.S. lawmakers.

“The normalization process, which carries important benefits for both sides, should take place without preconditions and within an obvious, reasonable timeframe,” she said.

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12 Comments

  1. Berge Jololian said:

    Border closure is a violation of international law as well as an act of war. Under international law, the normalization of relations between two countries cannot depend on relations with a third country.

    Protocols and treaties are not appropriate between countries such as Armenia and Turkey. Treaties are carried between two equal strength countries; otherwise, the stronger side does not respect it.

    ** Genocide Acknowledgment with Accountability **

    ** Reparation * Land * Restitution **

  2. Lusik said:

    For nearly two decades, the US State Department acted in the most counter-intuitive and self-destructive manner in its foreign policy toward Armenia.

    The routine goes something like this: Turkey blockades Armenia for 17 years, the US State Department puts additional pressure on Armenia to capitulate.

    The International Association of Genocide Scholars repeatedly calls on Turkey to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, the US State Department fires its ambassador to Armenia for uttering the word genocide.

    The International Monetary Fund evaluated Armenia’s loses due to Turkey’s hostile border closure at the tune of $750 million per year; the US State Department lowers US “aid” to Armenia each year to its current meager $40 million.

    According to the warped logic of the US State Department foreign policy, if country A (Turkey) closes its borders with country B (Armenia), Protocols are needed to apply pressure on Armenia to accept open borders.

    If the US State Department does not succeed in convincing Turkey to stop its billions of trade with Iran; then the US State Department flexes its muscles to arm-twist Armenia to stop its economic survival-dependent trade with Iran; instead of sympathizing with the plight of Armenians leaving the country to seek economic survival elsewhere.

    Armenian-Americans advise the US State Department on the importance of integrating Armenia in the regional economies to ensure stability in the region; the US State Department responds by isolating Armenia and funding the Baku-Tibilis-Ceyhan pipeline by-passing Armenia.

    Armenian-Americans advise the US State Department not to fund the construction of Kars-Tblisi railroad; instead use the existing Kars-Gumri-Tblisi railroad; the US State Department does nothing.

    Armenian-Americans advise the US State Department not to lift section 907 regarding US weapons to Azerbaijan; the US State Department does the opposite, bolstering Azerbaijan war threats in the region.

    Armenia is grateful to the Russian Federation for its investments in Armenia; and is appreciative for the protection of Armenia’s borders with Turkey.

    Armenia is most appreciative to the Islamic Republic of Iran for its steadfast support throughout the years and for the energy projects in Armenia (gas, oil, hydro-power stations, railroad and highway, trade imports/exports).

    What has the US State Department done to influence Armenia towards the West? (Besides Genocide, TARC and Protocols?) The answer is clear: Hetch.

    ** Genocide Acknowledgment with Accountability; Land, Reparations, and Restitution **

    – Berge Jololian

  3. Berge Jololian said:

    For nearly two decades, the US State Department acted in the most counter-intuitive and self-destructive manner in its foreign policy toward Armenia.

    The routine goes something like this: Turkey blockades Armenia for 17 years, the US State Department puts additional pressure on Armenia to capitulate.

    The International Association of Genocide Scholars repeatedly calls on Turkey to acknowledge the Armenian genocide, the US State Department fires its ambassador to Armenia for uttering the word genocide.

    The International Monetary Fund evaluated Armenia’s loses due to Turkey’s hostile border closure at the tune of $750 million per year; the US State Department lowers US “aid” to Armenia each year to its current meager $40 million.

    According to the warped logic of the US State Department foreign policy, if country A (Turkey) closes its borders with country B (Armenia), Protocols are needed to apply pressure on Armenia to accept open borders.

    If the US State Department does not succeed in convincing Turkey to stop its billions of trade with Iran; then the US State Department flexes its muscles to arm-twist Armenia to stop its economic survival-dependent trade with Iran; instead of sympathizing with the plight of Armenians leaving the country to seek economic survival elsewhere.

    Armenian-Americans advise the US State Department on the importance of integrating Armenia in the regional economies to ensure stability in the region; the US State Department responds by isolating Armenia and funding the Baku-Tibilis-Ceyhan pipeline by-passing Armenia.

    Armenian-Americans advise the US State Department not to fund the construction of Kars-Tblisi railroad; instead use the existing Kars-Gumri-Tblisi railroad; the US State Department does nothing.

    Armenian-Americans advise the US State Department not to lift section 907 regarding US weapons to Azerbaijan; the US State Department does the opposite, bolstering Azerbaijan war threats in the region.

    Armenia is grateful to the Russian Federation for its investments in Armenia; and is appreciative for the protection of Armenia’s borders with Turkey.

    Armenia is most appreciative to the Islamic Republic of Iran for its steadfast support throughout the years and for the energy projects in Armenia (gas, oil, hydro-power stations, railroad and highway, trade imports/exports).

    What has the US State Department done to influence Armenia towards the West? (Besides Genocide, TARC and Protocols?) The answer is clear: Hetch.

    ** Genocide Acknowledgment with Accountability; Land, Reparations, and Restitution **

    – Berge Jololian

    • Araxi said:

      Thank you Berj. America has for too long towed Turkeys line.
      The time for change is now. Turkey is trying to become a (sudo) power in the Middle East. Turkey should not be allowed to enter the European Union because it cannot be trusted.
      The next thing I would like to say is Turkey has no right to interfere in Karabagh Azerbaijan relations. How would Erdoghan like Sarkissian or the Armenian government to interfere in Turkey’s present relations with Israel? Turkey should be shown the back door by Armenia.

    • Nairian said:

      Berge jan, I know what you are saying and many Armenians in the U.S. know exactly what you are talking about and how true it all is. Know this though that the Jews have controlled the US Congress and the Senate for many decades if not more and what they say and said goes. Very unfortunately the Jews until as of late were with the Turks and that’s why the Turks were winning. You are on target that the US has been very destructive towards Armenia until today by arm-twisting Armenia on many occasions until as of late the matter of the protocols; but thank goodness, Armenia’s Constitutional Court set the protocols straight who speaks for and preserves the sovereignty of Armenia. And I liked the way Sarkissian spoke at Chatham House to set the record straight one more time about Artsakh’s right for self determination. As of late though, because of Israeli and Palestinian war, the Turks are attacking Israel’s stand towards the Palestinians and the Jews are extremely angry with the Turks. Hopefully now things may change for the better as far as the US is concerned. However I couldn’t agree with you more that thanks to Putin of Russia and the Iranians, we continued to survive. Armenians are resilient and smart and we are survivors. I also feel hopeful and positive that things will start getting better for Armenia and Artsakh. Armenians have to start to be much more vocal of our rights of the Wilson Arbitration Award and the Sevres Treaty. We must continuously talk about it.

  4. Nairian said:

    Thanks Editors for providing us with this news. Someone previously has asked to put out not just Davutoglu’s statements but also Sarkissian’s and thanks for putting it out for us.
    I am glad how Sarkissian commented on the subject.

  5. grigor markaryan said:

    To Serzh Sargsyan,

    Just do it! Scrap the protocol agreement with Turkey.

  6. Grish Begian said:

    Turkey proved again, that they are not part of civilized world, and they can not be an effective partner with EU Dept.

    Turkey is heading an internal problems, and any outcome won’t be a good news for US and EU and Russia..

    Armenia’s strategic partner with Russian Federation should stay “on” all the times…Russia needs Armenia and Armenia needs Russia..same with Iran, regardless if regime change happen in Iran or not..geopolitical situation In Caucasus will make Armenia and Iran stay together..

    US will never be able to help Armenia as long as Turkish airfields use by US Air Force in Middle East..

  7. Berge Jololian said:

    If history is any guide, the Turkish-Armenian Protocols’ fate is already determined.

    An excerpt from David Boyajian’s “Ship of Fools: Turkey and the European Union”

    “Serious reforms were first attempted during Ottoman Turkey’s Tanzimat (Reorganization) period of 1839 to 1876. Pushed by Europe, Turkey declared measures, quickly proven ineffective, to safeguard the rights of its Armenian subjects.

    A Turkish constitution was then declared in 1876 but suspended, along with parliament, just two years later. Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin, signed in 1878 by the European powers, Turkey, and Russia, guaranteed the safety of Ottoman Armenians but was dead before the ink dried. Turkish “reforms” reached new levels in the 1890s with massacres of hundreds of thousands of Armenians.

    In 1908 came the “reformist” Young Turk party. Inspired by European ideals, it pledged liberty, equality, and fraternity. The outcome was the massacres of Cilician Armenians in 1909, and “Reform” culminated in the cataclysm of 1915.

    Turkey’s next European-inspired “reformer” was Kemal Ataturk, who all but finished off the country’s remaining Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Christians, not to mention thousands of Muslim Kurds. He seized historical western Armenia, which Europe had promised to Armenians, and attacked the just-reborn Armenian Republic while Europe looked on.

    Ataturk’s “reformist” legacy endures to this day: Genocide denial, the blockade of Armenia, and 80 years of military coups, human rights abuses galore, and even massacres, all tolerated by Europe.

    Today comes yet another collection of Turks pledging European-approved “reform.” This too will end in disaster if history is any guide. Given Europe’s wretched record regarding Armenians, there is little evidence that the EU will ever restrain Turkey against Armenia.”

  8. Hairenakitz said:

    Seems that we’re all carried away with Turkey’s ratification of the protocols; and missing what lays behind it!

  9. Serge said:

    Sarkissian should scrap this stupid protocol immediately, can’t he see that turks are using the ratification of protocol to delay the recognition of Genocide by US? I bet you they (turks) will ratify on 22nd of April to force Obama to refrain useing the Genocide word in his speech.

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