Armenia Threatens To Annul Agreements With Turkey

President Serzh Sarkisian and visiting Latvian President

President Serzh Sarkisian and visiting Latvian President Valdis Zatlers

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia on Thursday explicitly threatened to walk away from its landmark agreements with Turkey if Ankara continues to make their implementation conditional on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

President Serzh Sarkisian issued the warning in response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest linkage between the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations and a Karabakh settlement acceptable to Azerbaijan.

“I am stating again that the Republic of Armenia is prepared to properly honor its international commitments. Namely, to ratify the Turkish-Armenian protocols,” Sarkisian told a joint news conference with his visiting Latvian counterpart, Valdis Zatlers.

“But you will recall that I have also stated before that if Turkey drags out the ratification of the protocols, then Armenia will immediately make use of possibilities stemming from international law,” he said. “And so I am declaring now that I have instructed relevant state bodies to prepare amendments to those of our laws that pertain to the signing, ratification and abrogation of international agreements.”

The two protocols signed in Zurich in October commit the two neighbors to establish diplomatic relations and reopen their border within two months of the documents’ entry into force, which in turn is contingent on their ratification by the Armenian and Turkish parliaments.

Although the protocols make no direct reference to Karabakh, Turkish leaders have made clear that Turkey’s Grand National Assembly will not endorse them unless Armenia agrees to a resolution of the Karabakh conflict acceptable to Azerbaijan. Erdogan, whose government has a clear majority in the assembly, reiterated that precondition after talks with U.S. President Barack Obama in the White House on Monday.

“Turkey’s objective is to link Turkish-Armenian relations with the Nagorno-Karabakh problem,” Sarkisian said, commenting on Erdogan’s statements. “I must once again repeat that those attempts are a priori doomed to failure.”

Sarkisian set no deadlines for the Turkish ratification of the agreements welcomed by the international community. Like Obama and other top U.S. officials, he has previously stressed the need for their implementation within a “reasonable time frame.” According to some pro-government politicians in Armenia, by that Yerevan means the beginning of the next spring.


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  1. jerry sabounjian said:

    Now that’s the way to respond to those bullies.
    Finally Armenia has called on there bluff.
    Now there demands is getting nowhere, and if Armenia continues to stand firm, the Turks are at a dead end.
    Now the headlines should read as follows: Armenia extended a hand to there century old enemie but they turned it down.

    • Sahag said:

      That’s the problem jerry. The headlines will all read in turkey’s favor. Even if the turks wanted the protocols anulled, it would still be in their favor. The whole process is geared towards ensuring they maximize irrespective of what we do. We were screwed from day one of this protocol nonsense.

    • Sarkis said:

      Sorry but, this is not showing teeth at all. This is showing the world that Armenians are the bad guys, that they are at their diplomatic infancy, they have no vision, they don’t know what they’re doing and they’re walking away from a document that they just signed ?!
      Instead they would have hung in there, propose intelligent amendments to the protocols, clean-up absolutely all the self-inflicting, humiliating, illogical, anti-Armenian articles, keep repeating loud and clear that the written protocols DO NOT refer to Karabakh, mount a massive campaign to have our friends repeat relentlessly the same thing, and for such important issues, run a Pan-Armenian referendum for their approval by all living Armenians. Let the Turks refuse it then and be the bad guys. After all, they are the ones who want the border open in the first place to look good for EU.
      Sorry Mr. Sargsyan; wrong again, it is a bit too late and I don’t think you impressed the world by your comments.

  2. Sahag said:

    It’s too late. The damage has already been done. How ridiculous we are all  now perceived before the entire international community because of the incompetent decision making of a hand full of self-important know it all bureaucrats. I hope the turks, americans, russians and europeans take this opportunity to really slam sarkisian.

    • Armanen said:

      And you are a patriot?  How could you wish for the turks to slam the President of RA, especially since the entire rappraochment process was a Russian one from the get go?
      Again, the anti-protocol people show why they have no solid and logical reasons for being against them.  Majority of replies are emotional outbursts from people with no knowledge of geopolitics or statecraft.

      • Mikael said:

        Armanen, you have a point about many emotional outbursts. However, your comment about these “anti-protocol people” having no solid and logical reasons for being against them” is absolutely absurd. Have you even read the protocols? Here are a few of my “logical reasons:”
        1. Turkey demands the current border be recognized by Armenia, negating any further territorial claims. Shortly after WW1, the newly independent states of Armenia and Turkey signed an agreement (Treaty of Sevre) outlining the borders of Armenia as determined by then President Woodrow Wilson. Shortly thereafter, Armenia was consumed by the Soviet Union and Turkey signed a new treaty with the allied powers that also included a border. This document was not signed by the hand of an Armenian and therefore does not negate the previous agreement between Armenia and Turkey concerning territory. It is null in that respect and Armenian territorial claims have a legitimate basis in international law. We should not be giving that way.
        2.  The establishment of a historical commission to “investigate” the facts of the Armenian Genocide is absurd. The Armenian Genocide is actually the most studied event in history. It is a fact and settled in history. Scholars in the subject, including the International Society of Genocide Scholars, have blasted this precondition. It is simply a game to keep the denial of the Armenian Genocide going. In fact, it intensifies the denial, because the establishment of a commission to study it, throws into question its very occurrence.
        3. Artsakh has been continually linked to the ratification of these protocols as a precondition to opening the border, although no mention is made in the text. You cite that you somehow have knowledge of geopolitics. Well here is a news flash for you. Armenia needs Artsakh to survive!!! If you study the economic structure, Armenia and Artsakh are interdependent. They need each other’s success to survive and thrive. Now, you’re probably thinking, “but if the borders are open, that’s no longer an issue.” WRONG!!! You will notice in the protocols make no mention of protection for the Armenian economy. Cheaper Turkish goods would flood the market and Armenia’s economy would collapse. Armenia should not give up Artsakh on these and moral grounds. If you believe otherwise, I challenge you to go to Artsakh and look the Armenian people who have lived there for millennia in the eye and tell them they must leave their homes to appease their enemies. GO AND DO IT!!!
        4. A line from the protocols also says that Armenia “must refrain from pursuing any policy incompatible with the spirit of good neighborly relations.” What exactly does that mean? The Armenian government has continually said that recognition of the Armenian Genocide abroad is paramount. If these protocols are ratified, Armenia may be forced to change this policy. What about the diasporan efforts in lobbying congress and resolutions? Would we have to stop that as well? This would mean that if Armenia or Armenians pursue recognition of the Armenian Genocide, then Turkey is free to close the border (since the protocols say nothing about leaving the border intact after opening it) and meanwhile Armenia has signed over everything else.
        There is just the tip of the iceberg of my knowledge of geopolitics and statecraft.

      • Vahe M said:

        The Turks are as guilty as the Russians Armanen. Both the Russians and the Turks played Armenian officials as fools to the detriment of the RA. Don’t fool yourself, Sarkisian’s defeatist mindset is the problem and the folly of the protocols are as obvious to the majority as your misguided remarks are.
        Pari or

        • Armanen said:

          If either of you two are interested in a serious debate over this issue then register at HyeClub forum and we can do it there.  I am tired of repeating myself every time there is another article on the protocols.

    • Bruce Tasker said:

      I agree entirely, the Sargsyan / Nalbandian team has already caused immeasurable damage to Armenia’s reputation, and especially to genocide recognition.
      This is typical Sargsyan double talk; according to this article he does not specifically state that ‘Armenia threatens to annul agreements with Turkey’, he states that ‘ if Turkey drags out the ratification of the protocols, then Armenia will immediately make use of possibilities stemming from international law’ and ‘I have instructed relevant state bodies to prepare amendments to those of our laws that pertain to the signing, ratification and abrogation of international agreements’. He has done that in response to the ARF claim that the process has not been conducted in line with Armenian laws and the constitution, not because of the linkage with Karabakh, to which he and Nalbandian are both parties.
      But it is the Armenian people who are responsible for slamming Sargsyan – unfortunately.

  3. Kisul said:

    today obama raised the banner of his foreign policy: if you want peace, apply force.
    this formula will let anything happen, if it is dear to his plans.
    sargsian! threats are soap bubbles. as somebody on this site said, shred out this protocol. shred it out.

  4. roni said:

    The Turks are behaving foolishly loosing the chance given by Armenian government they can’t from now on announce being honest brokers for any peace agreement in the regin as  they are defending Azeri intrests

  5. Antreas said:

    Mr. Sarkisian, why didn’t you save us all the embarrassment and heartache from the onset?  Your myopic vision prevented you from foreseeing the instant situation.  Will our leadership finally learn, after centuries of deception, that Turks are not to be trusted?  I hope your tail is so far between your legs that it tickles your belly.

  6. Lusik said:

    Very high tide! Today Obama stepped on  a causeway not drawn for him by his destiny. He took wordings which he will follow no matter where they lead him. At the end he will justify a genocide. I do not want to name the tragic person he transforms slowly into. /// On the other hand, Sargsian started paying attention to ARF’s energetic steps toward change of ruling regime, and makes this (and may be few other) impressive speeches. I am afraid he also pushes bottom for the OSCE-MOSCE to come and save his regime. I will be very happy to mistaken here!

  7. Scott T said:

    Armenia has much support the world over, despite  efforts by Turkey  to spend money to alter the truth. It is shameful that  Turkey makes such fools of themselves, both on the Genocide issue and it’s ignorance concerning Karabagh. It is also worth noting that Obama has proven himself to be but a pawn in this region. He couldn’t stand up and say the truth, and people everywhere know the truth will rise above all the spinning they do. Stay strong Armenia, many people care about you, and we all know that Dick Gephardt is the worst kind of person, paid over a million dollars a year to stop congress from voting on a Genocide resolution. He is pathetic.

    • papken hartunian said:

      Scott T, one of these days an Armenian will rise and will be able to bring to justice all Turks and their supporters who have been instrumental in committing genocide against Armenian people.

  8. Hayq said:

    This part of the world rarely falls into the similar political patterns as the Western world. The game of threats, you got my back I got yours, history is history, blah blah can all go out the window. Armenia should focus on how it can become an important internationally integrated country. The only foreign policy it should work on is how to get Karabagh officially part of the rest of the country.

  9. gayane said:

    Hmmm.. very interesting..

    Guess now it is the time for the entire world to tell our President.. “WE TOLD YOU SO”…

    Unfortunately, he refused to listen and now he is going to work hard to fix what has been broken.. IF it comes down to it.. who knows if he will go through annuling the protocols.. but i hope i am wrong.. i hope he does.

    Thank you

  10. michael Agyan said:

    Turkey has a long history of signing protocols and not coming through with them. This one is DOA from the very inception and again Turkey and only Turkey is to blame for it.

  11. GregMelkonyan said:

    I can not understand this! Serzh Sargsyan is demanding from turkey to ratify the protocols which are detrimental to the interest and security of Armenian Nation! And let us suppose if turkish parliament approves and ratifies the current protocols then this idiot Serzh Sargsyan will ask the Armenian parliament to approve the current protocols. Can someone explain to me whose side this traitor is working for?

    • papken hartunian said:

      Mr. Sargisian’s first priority is to stay in power so that Russia, EU, Turkey, and USA all can be benefit from the so called protocols. Well, if there are winners there must be also loser(s).

  12. silva b. said:

    this was why we all protested against the protocols.we have no faith in turkey.history  tells.

  13. Garo said:

    This step of Sargsian was necessary after our humiliation this week in Washington by Erdogan’s bullish declaration in front of Obama, linking karabakh to the protocols. I applaud Sargsian for reacting fast and decisive.
    We should never sign treaties under duress.  As kisul says above,” if you want peace apply Force”  reminds me of the several treaties (Alexandropol, Kars) that were signed under military duress, and these protocols are being linked to karabakh and forced upon Armenia under blockade duress.  Hopefully Armenia can, and should,  maximize the political benefit of Annuling the protocols as the next step blaming Turkey for preconditions.  If you remember Secretary Clinton said several times (convincing Nalbandian to sign) that the protocols should have no preconditions!  We as Americans should bring the pressure up on Clinton to honor her committments.  This is the best opportunity to annul these protocols, otherwise the world will get used to it, and bring more pressure on armenia to resolve karabakh to Azeris advantage and be done.

  14. AM said:

    just in a few words. My opinion, i don’t trust sargisian, he can turn around and sell us out again in a heart beat.

  15. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    The cost of those threats is a penny. The illegal President of Armenia (so, it’s not Armenia that threatens, but the illegal President does) used to threaten not to go to Turkey, didn’t he? The very first day of the illegal president’s threats about not going to Turkey, I fixed, “Mr. Sarksyan will go to Turkey like a momsik.” It is on the record. And the illegal travel through Armenia-Turkey border happened. The Armenia illegal president went to Turkey to watch the Turkey-Armenia  football match  with the Turkey President Gul. Neuro-linguistic psychologists explain that any behavior has tends to repeat. Whatever happens, Mr. Sarksyan is not able to annul the Armenia-Turkey Agreements (Karabakhis people should take this important fact under consideration). He is going to accept them like a momsik. In the Armenian Language, this is called “chari verjy.”

  16. manooshag said:

    Hye, Clinton, has done enough damaage already… I could not trust her stance for Armenia, I do not trust Serge and his cohorts either… neither cares for what is to benefit the Armenian nation..

  17. Pingback: Armenia Threatens To Annul Agreements With Turkey | Asbarez … | armeniatoday

  18. hrair said:

    I’m convinced that erdogan and his turkish army is going to lose sleep over this threat! Serzhik, you gave up almost everything that defined us as a nation and people, just let it go! You can’t do damage control now, who are you fooling?

  19. christian M said:

    well guys all what u saying is right but whats the use .We are known we talk but we dont do .
    nothing will change unless diaspora starts acting and uniting ,showing  these people .
    first the Armenian government should know 7000000 out of Armenia and 25000000 in Armenia ,let me ask why?can someone explain.

  20. Grish Begian said:

    The Azeri oil is an excellent source for Turks to kill Genocide recognition, and blockade Armenia. Turks are smart enough to know, that they have no place in EU. Open boarder with Armenia will pave Armenia’s desire to join EU in the future time, which is against Turkish leadership. Wrong approachment of Armenian government toward protocols, open the door for Turks to play Turkish music in European capitals, and at White House!!

  21. Araxi said:

    erdogan has catigorically denied the Armenian genocide. The time is right to annul the infamous ‘Protocols’. How can the turks be trusted? Is the world blind, deaf and dumb?

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