Armenia Should Stop ‘Roadmap’ Talks

It is becoming increasingly evident that the so-called “roadmap” discussions with Turkey are proceeding with  preconditions, despite continuous claims by Armenian authorities that they are not.

After Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Abdullah Gul made an announcement last week following their meeting in Prague, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan not only continued his public statements that without a resolution to the Karabakh conflict there would be no border opening, but he also took his message to Azerbaijan, where in meetings with Aliyev and other leaders he reassured the Azeris that, in fact, the resolution of the conflict was a precondition.

President Sarkisian made a counter announcement condemning Erdogan’s statement, saying that Turkey’s announcement could hinder the peace process and the Turkish-Armenian “roadmap” discussion was more a slap on the wrist than a definitive posturing of a president who has agreed to an already controversial agreement.

Turkey’s continued rhetoric—-whether it’s designed to appease Azerbaijan or its own disgruntled population—-should send a clear signal to the Armenian authorities that continuing the “roadmap” process would only further hurt Armenian interests, since it is crystal clear that Turkey has three preconditions with which it is advancing its position. A resolution to the Karabakh conflict, the establishment of a “historic commission” and Armenia’s recognition of the current Turkish borders have always in, one way or another, been party’s of Turkey’s approach to this matter.

Armenia should not fall prey to the fallacy that if it pulls out from the talks it will lose credibility within the international community. This argument has been advanced by certain political forces, which have other gains in this process and sets dangerous precedents that could jeopardize Armenia’s national security.

Back in 1993, Turkey unilaterally decided to close its borders with Armenia citing the Karabakh conflict as the impetus. It is up to Turkey to open the border and by drawing Armenia into a “negotiation process” it aims to legitimize its aggressive policies. The West has immersed itself in this process to protect its own interests and has succeeded in drawing Armenia into an ultimately compromising situation.

The unfortunate announcement of the “roadmap” agreement has been made. However, if these talks are truly being held without preconditions, then Armenia has nothing to lose but more to gain from halting the process. But if the contrary is true, which it may likely be, the Armenian leadership should immediately withdraw from the “roadmap” talks and pursue a policy—vis-à-vis both Karabakh and Turkey that guarantees Armenian national interests and security.


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  1. Gary said:

    You can only agree with this perspective if you believe Armenia will be economically stronger with a closed border. You can only agree with this perspective if you believe the rule of law and democracy will develop in Armenia more swiftly if the border to the west is closed and Russian dependency remains ascendent. You can only agee with this perspective if the wrongs of the past are more important than taking the steps needed to build a economically strong and politically vibrant Armenia.

  2. Reg Ina said:

    You can only agree with Gary if you think that Armenia has the political structures, tradition and leaders to survive the influx of Turkish capital, sliding Turkification and political arms twisting. It will be only a matter of time for the Armenian military to become completely transparent to the Turkish/Azeri aliance through NATO or otherwise (non-committal to a NATO exercise will become almost impossible as there will be “economic” repercussions). What will happen then if the Russians are in a bad mood that morning? Leave Armenia? If anyone has doubts in the extremely aggressive character of the Turkish political doctrine, look at Bulgaria – it still survives because it is separated from Turkey by the EU border – but it has to put a serious fight to keep Bulgarian as the official language, has to surrender ministerial posts to ethinc Turks only because of their ethnicity, has to send ethnic Turks to the EU parliament and has to spend considerable resource on preventing coaches crossing the border with Turkey, full of Turkish voters with Bulgarian passports poured into the Southeast to tilt the outcome of an election.
    Yes, Gary, one has to weigh the memory of his unburried family with the wellbeing of …whom? The ordinary Yerevantsi, putting up a heroic battle with everyday life will come last in the queue, as it has always been. The “economically strong and politically vibrant Armenia” is decades away and will never happen if the bridge over which you need to cross the abyss is rotten.

    Changing one master for another will not change the game for the ordinary Armenian. Armenia needs a consensus on clear political vision, reached in a wide discussion at home and abroad, not secret roadmaps.

  3. Gary said:

    Reg Ina offers several thoughtful viewpoints. I agree, political structures, the economy, and legal system are all underdeveloped. Armenia is a ward of Russian, American, European and diasporan largesse. Without these props the country is not a viable entity. It has to be able to stand on its own feet without these unreliable props with motivations other than the best interests of those who reside in Armenia. Keeping it closed to the west will only increase its dependency and retard the development of its political, economic, and legal structures. Armenia will surely implode if it persists in this extreme dependency. Yes, Reg Ina is right about threat also coming with the western openning. The Armenian arm is being twisted by all the country’s “benefactors” to their own ends. The risk must be taken to further develop the country. There is a certain sense of irony in the idea that Turkish capital will contribute to the strengthening of Armenia’s economy. As for Turkish people flooding into Armenia to vote–well considering how Armenia runs elections I doubt if it will affect the outcome of the elections.

  4. steve said:

    Turkey has CHOSEN to be a latent participant in the war against Artsakh. They have CHOSEN hostilities against Armenia because of our ‘dispute’ with Azerbaijan. During our darkest hours, after the Earthquake, when the war was uncertain, and our economy, water, and electricity was unforeseen in the near/long term future, they were there standing on our necks. Let us not forget and let us NEVER give in to any concession for ‘relations’. Let them first correct wrongs, in the distant history and not so distant history…let them SHOW US they are no longer a hostile nation. Bulgaria, Greece, and other nations already suffer from Turkification- Armenia should die on its feet rather than live on its dying knees.

  5. Gary said:

    Steve, you have nailed many of the acts againist Armenia by Turkey and there are yet more too numerous to catalogue here. I can genuinely respect the courage of your let Armenia die attitude if you are on the frontlines in NK or living in a rural Armenian village. If you are living in France or California etc, not so much.

  6. steve said:

    I don’t live in NK or any rural Armenian village. My ancestors were a part of the Armenian community of the Ottoman Empire like ALL Armenians at the time, including the ancestors most Armenians in modern Armenia.

  7. Reg Ina said:

    What is the legitimacy of this “Roadmap” anyway?
    Undoubtedly, it is the sigantories political credibility on the line if what they sign does not get ratified by Parliament.
    Still not late to walk away, there will be only one casualty.

  8. Haro said:

    Guys, all of you are right, but I kind of feel like the three blind men bumping into an elephant.
    The biggest problem of Armenia, or rather Armenians, is their dislike to live in their own land. I am very sorry to state this fact, but such a feeling is even imposed in me, I don’t know why. All my life, I have been over more than 15 countries, but in my mind even the definition of color is based on the scenes and landscapes of Zizernagaberd. Every morning, I wake up and I ask myself “what the devil I am doing in this country (i.e. USA)”. But like everybody else, I go to work to bring the bread and butter.
    Believe me, NK, YEREVAN, or any person in Armenia will not rest one second, if a Turk intrudes their land. This whole thing is a diplomatic bluff, and who is bluffing who, it really does not matter. As long as, NK borders are intact, and Armenia’s borders are closed and intact, there is no danger of talking about pretending to open borders.
    We all know that in the game of bluffing Turkey is a great master, so let them bluff their hearths out, and we will act like indeed we really believe them.
    Under all this bluff game, there is however a secret master plan, to understand this, you need to follow the situation in Caucasus more carefully. The West, USA and NATO joined hand in hand with Turkey for a Xazanjagis type of dream, to build a pipeline, and get the upper neighborhood of Iran under their control (incidentally, the last region to completely blockade Iran). Everyone had their hopes high until the Georgian-Russian war, which proved that this dream is indeed a Zorba plan.
    I don’t want to spoil your curiosity, but there are good chances that Turkey will lose grounds in the next few years. All we need to do is hold our grounds and heads and become strong and culturally more active. Also, we all can play the bluff game, anyone can bluff.
    There is however a grave danger that faces Armenians, it’s the danger of assimilation, not as much in the mainland but rather in Diaspora. We seem to neglect this major problem, but look what I am doing. It’s unbelievable, I am actually writing in English to my fellow Armenians. This is really sad, and that is what tears me apart. Forget the Turks, these poor ignorant fellows thought they could eliminate Armenians by swords. They could have done it very easily by assimilation, just like the West and even we ourselves are doing upon us (automatically).
    Anyone knows what St. Mesrob Mashtoz said? Well, here it is “ՍՈՎԱՒ ՅԱՂԹԵՍՑԵՍ” (SOVAV HAGHTESZES). You want to win, well read/write Armenian, hear Armenian, eat Armenian, live Armenian, create Armenian, fight Armenian, and you will be Armenian even when you die Armenian. Or, assimilate and you are just another number in the series of robots that dwell to satisfy their colonial masters. All these B.S. about freedom, humanity, and what not, means absolutely nothing if you cannot even keep your ancestral identity.

  9. Alex Postallian said:

    Let usnot be naive enough to believe turkey in any peace settlement.They have been denying the Armenian Genocide,and other inhuman behavior for years.Start with 101….70% of the populace is illiterate,ruled by the army and self-serving polticos.Their Mongolian mentality is proof positive .They have feared and hated the Armenians because as a race the Armenians have been Christians,intelligent,productive,educated,gregarious loving people.This is diametrically apposed to the turks mode of existence.NEED I SAY MORE!!!!!!!!!

  10. jerry sabounjian said:

    what if we give in to the Turkish demands and then a year or two later they choose to close the borders again.

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