Biden Urges Turkey to Honor Protocols

Vice President Biden meets with Turkish President Abdullah Gul

ISTANBUL (RFE/RL)—Vice President Joe Biden pressed Turkey to unconditionally ratify its Western-backed normalization agreements with Armenia “in the months ahead” during a visit to Ankara and Istanbul that ended at the weekend.

A senior official from the administration of President Barack Obama said the fate of the two Turkish-Armenian protocols signed in 2009 was on the agenda of Biden’s talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and parliament speaker Cemil Cicek.

The official said that during a breakfast meeting with Cicek on Friday Biden “applauded the fact that the protocols for normalization with Armenia were back on the agenda of the [Turkish] parliament.” “And he expressed his hope that the parliament will be able to act those protocols in the months ahead,” the official told U.S. journalists travelling with Biden.

The U.S. vice president met Gul later on Friday before travelling to Istanbul for separate talks with Erdogan held on Sunday.

“On Armenia, he said to the prime minister what he had raised with President Gul, as well, the hope that now that the protocols for normalization were back on the agenda of the parliament that Turkey would be able to move on those protocols in the months ahead,” the Obama administration official said.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conveyed a similar message to the Turkish government when she visited Istanbul last July.

The Turkish leaders and Erdogan in particular have repeatedly made clear that the protocols will not be ratified by Turkey’s parliament before a breakthrough in international efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Armenia rejects this precondition. President Serzh Sarkisian threatened earlier this year to withdraw Yerevan’s signature from the accord if the Turks stick to the Karabakh linkage.

According to the Istanbul-based “Hurriyet Daily News” newspaper, Biden told Gul that Ankara should “speed up the normalization process with Armenia” if it wants the Obama administration to block further resolutions in the U.S. Congress recognizing the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

This warning attributed to Biden could be seized upon by Armenian critics of the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement who say it has helped Ankara to thwart a broader international recognition of the Armenian genocide.

They were already incensed when Biden claimed last year that Sarkisian himself had asked the White House not to use the word genocide. Both official Yerevan and the U.S. Embassy in Armenia denied Biden’s claim videotaped by an Armenian-American activist.

Biden strongly supported Armenian genocide resolutions debated by Congress when he was a member of the U.S. Senate.

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5 Comments

  1. necati said:

    Armenia, sorry but You are not invited to dinner at our home. At least Until Armenian State recognizes Xocali Genocide and leaves Azerbaijan soil where you illegally invaded.

    Do not force Turkey to open doors to you. you are not wanted. not clear enough ?

    • Avery said:

      Denialist Turks: your so-called home is our home. You are invaders. You are currently illegally occupying somebody else’s home.

      There is no such thing as ‘Azerbaijani’ soil: Iranian Azarbaijani soil is South of the Arax River.
      The fake state of Azerbaijan still occupies about 50% of lowlands Artsakh, historic Armenian land.
      The fake state of Azerbaijan still occupies 100% of Armenian Nahkichevan, where they destroyed 10,000 Armenian Khachkars to erase any traces of 5000 year Armenian presence – so they can later claim it as ‘Azeri’ soil.

      Turks and AzeriTurks learn what the word ‘ Genocide’ means, before showcasing your intellectual bankruptcy by calling Xocali a quote “Genocide”. Even the exaggerated estimate of Azeri Gov says about 600 civilians were killed. Human Rights Watch says the deaths were about 200.
      When Azeri war criminals surrounded Stepanakert and subjected it to months of indiscriminate bombardment, about 2000 Armenian civilians were killed: thousands more wounded, crippled, maimed. What do you call that Turk-oglu Necati ?

      On the border: Biden does not speak for Armenians: RoA does not need the border opened. Turks do. Let’s keep it closed. Much better for Armenia.

  2. Haik Azad said:

    Biden bids wild turkey to honour…the words turkey and honour are compatible as dry water hot ice wooden stone and ultimately an honest politician…cold turkeys will honour the resolution on the 12th of never and after that mr.Bidden will have to persuade ser gay pishman seriga sarksyan to recognize the Genocide…who knows elections are forthcoming in Armenia and even stranger things may happen.Vonts ek???

  3. sam said:

    here we go again the preparation for april 24th started little earlier than usual ,genocide or not genocide cards will be on the table so is demands from turkie in order to not use the g ward .what a shame. we as armenians now should demand reparation compensation from turkie and how to deal with the lost property and belongings,.we should find a direct solution and negotiation with the right party in order to finish our differences because the others have personal interest and they don’t care about armenians or others i’m sure turkie would love to negotiate behind the close doors in order to get red off it’s dark past

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