Sarkisian Says Protocols Won’t Affect Genocide Recognition, Karabakh Resolution


YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–President Serzh Sarkisian continued to defend his conciliatory policy on Turkey on Monday, reiterating that his administration will not stop seeking international recognition of the Armenian genocide or make additional concessions to Azerbaijan.

He made the assurances at the Echmiadzin headquarters of the Armenian Apostolic Church while attending a meeting of top clerical and secular representatives of its worldwide dioceses that was chaired by His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II.

Sarkisian delivered a speech there before answering questions from the participants. Statements issued by the president’s and the Catholicos’s offices following the event mainly related to Armenia’s fence-mending protocols with Turkey and the current state of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

In a written statement, the presidential press service cited Sarkisian as saying that the signing of the protocols “does not mean, in any way, a renunciation of efforts at international recognition of the Genocide.”

Sarkisian has significantly complicated those efforts by accepting a Turkish proposal to set up a joint panel that would look into the events of the Armenian Genocide. Ankara has long sought such a commission to exploit the existence to prevent more countries from recognizing its crime against the Armenian people.

Many analysts close to the negotiations with Turkey and Azerbaijan say that Sarkisian has effectively agreed to speed up the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with more concessions to Azerbaijan. Armenian leaders have repeatedly denied that, arguing that none of the Turkish-Armenian protocols makes mention of the conflict. But Turkey’s top leadership has repeatedly made clear that Turkey’s parliament will not ratify the protocols until Armenia agrees to a resolution to the conflict favoring Azerbaijan.

According to the presidential statement, Sarkisian “once again reiterated that those two process are in no way connected with each other.” Armenia’s disputes with Azerbaijan and Turkey should be settled “separately,” he said.

Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian likewise insisted on Friday that the Armenian-Turkish thaw and the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiations are “two separate processes.”

“This is not only the Armenian approach but the approach of the international community,” he told Reuters.

But Nalbandian’s Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, said earlier in the week that the Turkish parliament will not ratify the agreements unless international efforts to end the Karabakh dispute yield a breakthrough soon.

Armenian leaders have implicitly threatened to annul the agreements if the Turks “drag out” the ratification process. “If one of the sides will delay and create some obstacles in the way of ratification and implementation, I think it could bear all the responsibility for the negative consequences,” warned Nalbandian. He also made clear that Armenia and Azerbaijan will not cut a framework deal on Karabakh “tomorrow or in one month’s time or in a very short period of time.”

Sarkisian, for his part, said on Monday that Yerevan has already devised contingency plans for various “possible scenarios of the process of normalizing relations with Turkey.” He did not elaborate.


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  1. Arman said:

    If Sarkissian says that protocols will not interfere with genocide recognition, yet the protocols call for a recognition of the existing borders and totally disrespect the memory of the million plus victims by casting doubt on something that happened that’s as clear as day, then I advise this chess geek to play chess and hope the game will enlighten him- because he and the rest of the Armenian government clearly do not see what the main issue is. There are 5 million Diaspora Armenians and though they live in economically more developed countries, their mere existence is at risk in their state of global dispersion. The Armenian government is not worried about their lives or existence, they just wnat to receive money from the Diaspora and that’s it. They don’t even want to hear anything that the Diaspora has to say, they don’t even want to show the minimum amount of respect and human decency that a person can show another person by aknowledging them and listening to their views. They want to benefit from Diaspora contributions but don’t want to accept us as their fellow citizens.

  2. Ara Sabounjian said:

    “Ahmet Davutoglu, said earlier in the week that the Turkish parliament will not ratify the agreements unless international efforts to end the Karabakh dispute yield a breakthrough soon. ”
    The Armenian parliament should not ratify the agreements unless international efforts to end the Cyprus dispute yield a breakthrough soon.
    We can’t accept double standards. The Turks occuped Cyprus first to help the Turks of Cyprus. Let them withdraw first!!!

  3. Barkev Asadourian said:

    You two fixed most danger 3 precondetions in your well studied
    PROTOCOLS[sariisian,nalbandian]you didn’t thought that conditions
    are related to DIASPORA ARMENIANS you people not authorized to
    talk or write on behalf of us.NO PROTOCOLS TO BE SIGN BY PARLIMENT.
    no more stupid issues.

  4. katia K. said:

    The biggest “occupier” is Turkey. It has massacred the Armenians and taken their lands to make a “Republic” of Turkey out of the remaining lands that the collapsing Ottoman Empire was still controlling. Their entire Republic is built upon crime, deceit and other people’s lands. Who are they to put pressure on the Kharapaghzis who defending themselves against the aggressor Azeri WON a war that the Azeris started with the intention of ethnically cleansing the Armenians and taking for good their historical lands in Karabagh. After all this is a habit that has worked out for their Turkish brothers. When cornered, Turkey and its brother Azerbaijan resort to their age old technique of lying and distorting of facts. No borders should open until some of our lands that were given away by the Russians in the Kars Treaty are returned… How about that… No open borders, unless lands that are TRULY occupied are returned… Turkey is cornered, it is looking for a new raison d’être, since its role in the international arena is now undefined because the cold war is over. It wants to join the EU, it wants to join Russia, it wants to stay with the West and internal groups want to align with the Eastern Muslin nations. Turkey is going through a very awkward period, and us Armenians need to study this situation and use it to our advantage. However it seems that we are doing the opposite and letting go of our advantageous position by falling in the trap of their ever phony and deceitful protocols and treaties.

  5. Areg Mansuryan said:

    We must not trust Serzh Sarksyan. He is known to gamble and presently he is gambling with the destiny of Armenian Nation. The sooner we get rid of him the better. He is a traitor and an impostor.