Protocols Cannot be Changed, Asserts Nalbandian

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Armenian Foreign Minister, Eduard Nalbandian told a session of parliament Wednesday that the protocols on establishment and development of relations between Armenia and Turkey cannot be changed, indicating that any discussion on amending the documents before signing them is futile.

This was in response to a question from Armenian Revolutionary Federation bloc president Vahan Hovannesian, who asked whether the minister was willing to meet with political parties and organizations to discuss the protocols and make necessary amendments.

Nalbandian, in his first discussion about the protocols in parliament, said while he was willing to discuss the provisions of the protocols with various political forces and organizations, however the agreed upon protocols could not be changed.

“What kind of changes can the Armenian Foreign Ministry suggest to the already agreed upon protocols? It is strange,” said Nalbandian saying “It is the foreign ministry that held talks with the other foreign ministry [Turkey], and after agreeing to the protocols what kind of changes are expected to be put forth? This is very strange. If we propose changes, then they can propose changes.”

“Several suggestions from Turkey have not been approved. We have agreed upon these documents and have presented for public discussion, through which the public will be informed about the process and the National Assembly be prepared for deliberations and approval,” explained Nalbandian.

“It’s becoming clear that the six weeks that have been devoted for public discussions are actually not for discussing but rather becoming informed. These are two different things. Obviously, discussion of a matter also entails the possibility of introducing changes. But now, it’s clear that there is no need for changes and the National Assembly is being asked to vote for or against the protocols,” exclaimed Hovannesian.

“We have these agreed upon protocols. We have presented them to the public for discussion. Members of parliament, who are elected by the people, will have the opportunity to present their opinion on the matter during approval stage. Because of that there is an approval mechanism, at which time the National Assembly will express its position,” said Nalbandian.

“If there are elements that you don’t agree to, you will voice your opinion, and if the majority of the parliament also does not agree with them, then it will not approve the protocols,” said Nalbandian.


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  1. Haro said:

    Yes, we can change any protocol. If Mr Nalbandyan does not know such basic facts, then perhaps we should change him instead.
    In fact, no political system ever survives a fixed set of protocols, they are always amended or modified based on historic and political events. Perhaps Mr Nalbadyan must go back to school and learn the ABCs of political science.
    No protocol in history ever withstood without changes. Even the most dogmatic protocols of religion undergo modifications. Believe me, if we were to approve these set of protocols, even Turkey will introduce some changes in just a couple of months.
    To avoid such headaches, it is better, once and for all, to denounce the entire foreign policy of the current Armenian government. Moreover, we the Armenian people should send the clear message to the EU, NATO and USA that: “WE DO NOT NEED PROTOCOLS, WE NEVER ASKED FOR IT, INSTEAD, WE NEED JUSTICE TO BE DONE WITH REGARDS TO TURKS!”. Moreover, every time the West puts pressure on Armenia, the entire Armenian people will mobilize, in which case, you will get multiple Genocide Recognition demonstrations per year (i.e. Traditionally, it is done only once on April 24 each year, but it can be mobilized with the same effect whenever Armenians are unjustly pressured). This will indeed create a headache everywhere on the globe, so please leave the Armenians alone.

  2. Garo said:

    These statements by foreign minister Nalbandian comes to prove that Armenia is far from being a democratic state. They make secret agreements on protocols of critical national significance, and they have the judicial obligation to present it to the parliament for ratification. I guess its becoming obvious that its not for discussion and recommendations, or modifications its only for ratification, and approval. Its either you approve or disapprove, there is no room for modifications! like we have an autocratic dictatorship, who decides on a forein protocol and the parliament is there just to ratify it and not to discuss, and disagree, or recommend an amendmet. this is an utmost comedy of democracy in action.
    Who does our foreign Minister think he is dealing with. A bunch of peasants to whom he can propose and get any policy, that his gang of autocratic government that wants to shove them down our throat , passed?
    I think its time that the whole dispora together with our compatriots in Armenia rise and demand the resignation of the whole government including the president.
    We cannot and will not tolerate a government, and a president who is not willing to listen to its elected represetatives, to its people’s elected voice. A government who is enforcing a policy which is tantamount to treason, and is not willing to listen to changes recommended by the parliament of Armenia.
    So why is President sarkissian calling meetings with the political parties? Just for formality and to educate the parties about the provisions of the protocols, and to convince them that the government of Armenia is smarter than the parliamentarians and that the people of Armenia should open their eyes and ears and learn the nuances of a failed political and disastrous foreign policy?
    I think its time that the government of Armenia together with its president resign and give the people the chance to discuss freely, make amendments as necessary, and form a new government who is willing to listen to the people.
    Mr Nalbandian is so arrogant that he doesn’t want to see that the whole Armenian nation is against these protocols, and he mentions a few telegrams of approval from foreign countries who have stakes in passing these protocols as a sign of the whole world in agreement to these protocols.
    Its time to act, The whole Armenian Nation should Unite and demand the resignation of this Government before its too late.

  3. Karina Avakian said:

    Today I received a questionnaire regarding the Protocols. This questionnaire is a disgrace. The questions are unfairly put. This issue is one which requires considerably more thought than simple Armenia or Turkey type answers. By the method of questionnaire you belittle the understanding and intelligence of all Armenians. I suggest you re-think the questions and methods of answer input. It is too easy, sitting in affluent USA to rattle the cage, but for those who remain in Armenia they have to plot an extremely difficult path to create a future – not necessarily sitting and moaning about a past. It is so easy to be xenophobic – bordering on aggressive strutting and posturing from a safe and affluent distance secure within a powerful country. If you truly love your homeland, please think a little more realistically and with considerably more understanding. I am not promoting the Protocols, but for God’s sake lets not belittle them with such jingoistic and stupid questionnaires.

  4. Smbat Grigoryan said:

    If according to Nalbandian the protocols can not be changed, then, president Serz Sarkissian and foreign minister Eduard Nalbandian are both traitors and must resign immediately. Enough is enough.The Armenian people must kick out these two turk bastards from office.

  5. Ishkhan Babajanian MD said:

    Dear Mr. Nalbandyan ,

    You asked “what kind of changes can Armenian foreign ministry suggest to the already agreed upon protocols”
    Sir, that is your problem not Armenian Nation. Your wrong policy brought Armenian nation to this cisis Maybe You are right it’s hard and late to change protocols as Armenian said ( TKADZE LIZEL LIZEL)…. In this case you have only one choice for saving Face, ACCEPT FAILURE AND RESIGN IMMEDIATELY WITH HONOR. OTHERWISE WE ARE SURE, SOON OR LATER THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE WILL FORCE YOU TO RESIGN.
    Sir any high school student can understand that this so-called “Road Map” or “Protocols” in their present shape are not in our national interests.
    1. Armenians shall no longer hold any ancestral territotial claims against Turkey by recognizing the Turkish border.
    2. The “protocol” endangers the International (including US) recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
    3. Karabakh’s self-determination and independence are not safeguarded.

    Once again, if you disregard the above Armenian principal interests, We Armenian will neither support nor trust you. We hope you will reconsider the logics.


    Dr Ishkhan Babajanian
    Sept. 17,2009

  6. David said:

    The Armenian Cause is going to die a sure death, and very soon, if these Protocols are passed. And it appears that they WIILL be passed. I am not sure if even the Diaspora and its political partes realize that.

    The Armenian president and his parliament were all elected under circumstances of fraudulent elections, banned candidates, and media repression, intimidation, and repression.

    This means that the leadership of Armenia is illegtimate and does not have the legal or moral authority to negotiate the Protocols or ratify them.

    It is not acceptable to say “But this is the only government we have.” If the government is illegitimate, it must go, and its decisions must be declared null and void.

    It is incumbent upon Armenian political parties and the Armenian people to state clearly that the Protocols are unacceptable and that any attempt by the Armenian authorities to ratify them is null and void. I refer especially to the ARF.

    The fact that a “law” or bill is passed, no matter where or under what circumstances, does not mean that the law is legitimate and must be obeyed. The Ottoman parliament in the 1915 era passed all sorts of laws that took property and life away from Ottoman Armenian citizens. Do we now look at those laws and say “Oh, yes, Armenians had to obey the law and be death-marched into the desert because it was illegal to escape.” ? Of course we don’t.

    Am I saying that the present Armenian government is like the Ottoman government of 1915 and that Armenian “laws” do not have to be obeyed? Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.

    Lots of countries pass repressive and illegitimate laws that people are clearly not going to obey, nor should they. Did George Washington obey the laws and edits of King George of England? Of course not.

    The illegitimacy of “president” Sargsian and his phony “parliament” must be stated now, and it must be stated clearly. Opposition parties must declare the Protocols to be traitorous, null, and void. The Protocols are as illegtimate as any repressive laws passed by the Ottoman Parliament. Indeed, the Ottoman parliament may have been more “democratic” then the present Armenian government.

    The Armenian opposition must state that the Protocols will be declared null and void by future governments. They must also state that there will be severe criminal sanctions imposed at a later date on anyone who tries to legitimize the Protocols.

    If not, then the Armenian Cause is dead. And don’t think that the Armenian authorities will not sell out Artsakh too. Anyone that will sell out the Armenian Cause would sell out Artsakh.

  7. Armen said:

    My first instinct was decidedly negative, especially with the implication that our lands were gone forever and the Genocide was going to be downgraded.

    However, this was purely emotional. The facts are clear and known to everyone, especially the CUP remnants who run Turkey and whose power is being challenged. Denial is a strategy to avoid a punishment for a crime. Think like an elite Turk running Turkey – would you EVER admit to a genocide given the negative consequences, when your countries’ wealth in large part was based on the theft during the genocide?

    Turkey and the Ottoman Empire before it, only act according to its own interests, and sometimes, when it is run by genocidal criminals, its perceived interests were to exterminate the Armenians and create a productive Kurdistan in its place. Therefore, Turkey will only admit to the Genocide if the benefits outweight the costs, so that is the analysis that must be made – to make it MORE beneficial for Turkey to admit than to deny – and pleas for ‘justice’, misguided ‘Western’ ideals, etc are meaningless. The West watched two genocides take place in 30 years and secretly cheered it on so don’t expect anything from them.

    The protocols are very vague for a reason – either there are secrets agreement behind it – or everyone is charting new territory or both. In any negotiation, neither side gets what they want – the key is to get enough while keeping the other side happy enough or else it will fail rapidly.

    As far as borders – realistically, the only chance for border change are

    1. Military action between Russia and Turkey (see 1876 and 1916) in which case Russia would run the expanded region that their army would conquer (or a puppet government).

    2. Trade of equivalent regions between the borders of new Armenia (Artsakh and the ‘occupied’ regions). We can trade some of the occupied region for Ararat or Ani, but land won with blood should never be given away – it shows weakness and is a recipe for disaster – we have to learn from history. I would also station Russian bases / troops / nuclear weapons (theoretical) as Armenia is basically Russia’s only reliable Southern border and ultimately Russia is the ONLY guarantor of Armenia’s security

    3. Making a legal case for the land is NEVER going to result in Turkey evacuating millions of Kurds and transferring the lands to Armenia. It is a waste of time to say ‘we want it, give it, or we had a right to it, give it”. The reality is that it was conquered Armenian lands for hundreds of years and unfortunately, what is done is done and numbers are numbers. I would not be in favor of mass deportation of Kurds and if they want a refernedum, I am sure the majority would vote for an independant Kurdistan.

    HOWEVER, if we are to recognize Turkey’s current border, then they should recognize our new border which includes the liberated territories + Artsakh – that would be fair. Keep in mind that unfortunately, the population of Armenia is shrinking and the mismatch between populations and wealth of Turks/Azeri and Armenia is increasing so either a peace treaty of some type should be agreed, or a war with Russian help, or making Armenia a Russian protectorate as nothing is possible without security. As it stands, if Russia is in turmoil again, Turkey can simply invade and overrun Armenia in a few days.

    Lastly and most importantly is the question of this ‘historical commision’. Words are words and we can assign any agenda or meaning to a commision. I would advocate a proactive approach to the historical commision and would proceed to study the historical CHANGES in population for each region, city, and village, documentation of the properties confiscated, documentation of all the churches and monastaries and the damage over the past 90+ years, the distribution of the victims of the Genocide, determining ‘where the money went’, etc.. I would proceed from the viewpoint of ‘let’s historically analyze the EXTENT of the Genocide and the REPERATIONS that must ensue’ The only way we will obtain this answers is if Turkey’s government consents to an investigation on its soil – and this ‘commision’ could be an angle.

    In the end, the Acceptance of the Genocide is between Turkey and Turkey – if their intent is to use the commision to ‘prove’ the Genocide was a ‘family fued’ that is their problem – it doesn’t mean we have to fall into that trap and try to ‘prove’ the Genocide which is a fact like 1+1=2, not 1+1=3 – we can show the world in detail with Turkey’s cooperation, the entire human, cultural, and economic destruction with documentation from Turkey.

    Thanks for reading

  8. Barkev Asadourian said:

    If cannot be changed the PROTOCOLS at all
    the ARMENIANS will change YOU Nalbandian.

  9. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    Even Ban Ki Moon, the Secretay-General of the United Nations has no moral and/or political right to give such an explanation (with the word FUTILE), the one Mr. Nalbandyan, Armenian FM has given to ARF leaders. If the Armenian President does not get rid of Mr. Futile Nalbandyan before his visit to Turkey, then the whole world can think that Mr. Sarksyan is a futile serf to Mr. Nalbandyan.

  10. Haro said:

    Armen’s comments makes the entire geopolitic of the region a simplistic one dimensional system. Although he may be right in some of his conclusions, but his arguments miss a lot of details. Unfortunately, there are hundred more dimensions to the real situation on the ground, and sometimes one must stop being a universalist and become an actor in the historic events. In other words, I know that all humans are brothers, but “էս Գևորքը իմ Գևոն ա, և ես պիտի մտածեմ և հաւատամ իմ Գևոյի նման` թէկուզ մեզ մահ է սպասուում”
    Also, in other words, making a legal case is better than acting like an “occupier”, bringing or reminding history is better than brainwashing the youth with Rock trash. Raising a Genocide Recognition issue is better than letting our youth to become punks. In short, everything done so far by Armenians and their organizations are more or less better than waiting for a golden moment of Russia the savor of Christians to come and conquer our lands back. It’s only this last 2 decades that the Armenian government is not quite functional, but this will pass too, and we will see the days that Turks will live only in Istabul and Ankara.
    Tigrans, Mamikonians, Mashtos and many more will come back if we like our ancestors live and think like multidimensional intelligent beings.
    For now Gevo says we should not sign the Khaytarag Protocols, and yes, I know it may seem to be harmless, but Gevo is like my Pokr Mher who just got out of Mheri Door, and I for one must reject this subjucation by foreigners. We do not need protocols to kiss our arch-enemies, we need mutual benevolence and justice before confidence and any other steps.
    In short, there are wars that do not use gunpowder and swords, in fact war is multidimensional concept. People fight with pen, with music and sound, with abstract ideas, with art, with economy, with language, etc. and etc.

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  12. Gagik said:

    Hey Mister Nalbandyan, you should resign, and get a life! You are disgrace to any foreign ministry, even if you work as a clerk!
    Amendment to the protocols are very common, but for such a losing position you took as foreign minister, you should get LOST!!!!

    You are disgrace to Armenia and Armenian People! You better apply to take a position as a clerk in turkish foreign ministry and probably, I say, probably they will hire you!
    You are a traitor to Armenian People, and put in huge risk the Armenian National Security by signing these so called “protocols”, for which you should be put on Trial.

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  14. Micha said:

    Armenia on sale ! It was already sold to Russians and Iranians by this rats at power. Now they are extending the deal to its filthiest extension …