Turkey’s Preconditions ‘Help’ Genocide Recognition, Says Sarkisian

DAMASCUS (RFE/RL)–Turkey’s reluctance to unconditionally normalize relations with Armenia is only facilitating a broader international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian suggested in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday.

Sarkisian spoke to the Syrian daily “Al Watan” during an official visit to Syria that began on Monday. He was asked, in particular, to comment on a resolution recognizing the 1915 genocide of Armenians by Ottoman Turks that was adopted by a U.S. congressional committee on March 4.

“One thing is obvious to me,” he replied. “The longer the process of normalizing our relations [with Turkey] lasts, the larger the number of states adopting such resolutions may become.”

It was a clear reference to Ankara’s failure to ratify the Turkish-Armenian normalization protocols signed in October. Turkish leaders link the ratification with a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that would satisfy Azerbaijan. They also say that the genocide resolutions adopted by the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee as well as Sweden’s parliament this month have further complicated Turkish-Armenian reconciliation.

By contrast, Yerevan has welcomed both resolutions. “I don’t think it’s right to attempt to link that [normalization] process with the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by other countries,” Sarkisian told “Al Watan.”

Sarkisian, who held talks with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, is scheduled to visit the northeastern city of Deir ez-Zor on Wednesday. The eponymous desert surrounding it was the final destination point of hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians forced out of their homes in 1915-1918. The Armenian community in Syria built there a memorial complex dedicated to them in 1990.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Sarkisian on Monday, Assad offered Syria’s help in establishing cordial relations between Armenia and Turkey for the sake of regional security and stability. “Syria is ready to play a role… for the establishment of Turkish-Armenian relations that can ensure normal stability and security in the region,” he said, according to AFP news agency.

“I think… officials in Armenia have given us their full confidence, which is why we are starting immediate steps, especially since President Sarkissian encouraged us” to do so, he said. Assad also praised Yerevan’s decision to normalize its relations with Turkey despite “many difficulties.”

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4 Comments

  1. christo said:

    A few years ago, Mr. President (Assad), you signed an agreement between the S.A.R. and gov of turkey relinquishing all the lands called Hatay to the current government of turkey. There are millions of Alawites, living in those territories and instead of demanding those territories illegally given to the gov of turkey by the French colonialists you look the other way. Why would the gov. or Armenia or any Armenian trust your judgement?

  2. Pingback: Turkey's Preconditions 'Help' Genocide Recognition, Says Sarkisian … | Turkey Live

  3. brkv36 said:

    BEFORE TO PROCEED WITH CONCEPT
    HAVE MR. SARKISIAN TO EXPLAIN PUBLICY THE TYPE OF
    HELP AND CONDITONS…… ARMENIANS REJECTING TO APPROVE
    BY AA !!!! MEAN TIME GENOCIDE RECOGNIZATION IS IN PROGRESS
    ALL OVER THE WORLD BY ANCA!!! THE PROTOCOLS MUST AND MUST BE BURYED
    MOST DANGEROUS AGGREMENT!!!!! IT IS TRAY!!!!!

  4. brkv36 said:

    AFTER SUBMITED THE PROTOCOLS TO AA SARKISIAN DECIDED
    DIED LINE AS END OF MARCH TO EITHER YES OR NO SO IT MEAN
    BY 31st AUTOMATICALY GONNA BE DEAD EVERYTHING HOPEFULLY!!!

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