Armenia to Annul Protocols if Turkey Pursues Karabakh Precondition

YEREVAN (Hurriyet)—Agreements signed by Turkey and Armenia to establish diplomatic relations and open their sealed border risk becoming null and void if Turkey insists on making the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict a precondition to its ratification of the protocols, Armenia’s Prime Minister told the Turkish Hurriyet Daily in an interview conducted in Yerevan last week.

“We very much hope the Turkish Parliament will not take a step that would mean a miscarriage of the agreements. If this happens, our parliament would [essentially declare] the protocols to be null and void, Tigran Sargsyan was quoted by the Hurriyet as saying. “We would be back to square one.”

In a move to normalize relations, the two countries signed two important documents in October but these have not yet been ratified by the two countries’ parliaments. Turkey has held up the document from going to a vote in its parliament, with its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, demanding Armenia first agree to a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict favoring its ally Azerbaijan.

“Our position has not changed. Judging from Prime Minister Erdogan’s statements, it seems that the Turkish position has shifted, which means that the Turkish Parliament may propose certain preconditions,” Sargsyan said.

“If Turkey comes up with preconditions, Armenia would be free to do so as well,” he said, citing genocide recognition and not entering any negotiations until borders are opened as examples. He also emphasized that the Turks were originally responsible for closing the border.

If the process fails because of Turkey’s preconditions, Sargsyan said, “Turkey will have to explain to [international powers] why it has broken its own agreement. Turkey’s credibility will be at stake. It would be questionable to sit down with Turkey again.”

“We are not playing any games with Turkey, we are committed to an open and transparent foreign policy, we do not make different statements to others and we do not see an alternative to this process,” he added.

When asked about the deadline for the ratification of the protocols, Sargsyan refrained from giving an exact timeframe but urged “Turkey not to stall the process artificially.”

“[Our] clear deadline is the Turkish legislation. We are closely following this process. If we observe that the Turkish Parliament is not stalling the process, we will make our own conclusions,” Sargsyan said.

The Turkish government has already submitted the protocols to its Parliament for broad discussions in the relevant sub-commissions. Armenia, however, must first get the approval of its Constitutional Court before proceeding with parliamentary ratification. The court is set to announce its verdict on January 12.

On the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Sargsyan said the pace of the negotiations depended on Baku. Criticizing the Azerbaijani leadership for making “war calls,” he said, “We have to be ready for war as history taught us.”

“The best way to prevent war is to be ready for it. If there is any time that Azerbaijanis feel that we are not ready for war, nothing will stop them from breaking the peace, which is why we are not afraid. What would we lose other than our chains?” Sargsyan said.

Sargsyan said that Turkey, a key ally to Azerbaijan, could not play a role on the solution of the Karabakh conflict because it was by nature a non-neutral actor. He also drew attention to the risks of linking Turkish-Armenian rapprochement with the Karabakh process.

“The first is that it will not contribute in any way to the resolution of the Karabakh issue, on the contrary, it will impede it since Turkey is not neutral. Secondly it will impede with the development of our relations, which is neither in Turkey’s nor our interest,” he said.

“The third dimension is that Erdogan was pretty tough this time [in Washington]. The impression is that he might have wanted to create an equilibrium between the acknowledgements of no preconditions in the protocols,” Sargsyan said.

Sargsyan emphasized that the Armenian Genocide is a pivotal issue for Armenians and the government, but said the Armenian people should overcome the century long animosity toward Turkey.

“I have even stated that in our parliament. The attitude of our people toward Turks and Turkey needs to change, however difficult that may be. Our foreign policy should not be anti-Turkish. It should be pro-Armenian. We need to be able to change the attitude of our nation,” he said.

Sargsyan said one of the most important tools in developing ties between the two countries is public acknowledgement.

“In my opinion, the eventual recognition of the genocide will help Turkish society break through. This is the road to becoming a full-fledged member of the European Union. Its psychological complex must be overcome,” Sargsyan said.

“The Germans succeeded in overcoming their complex, helping their society to unprecedented social and economic development,” he said.


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  1. Armen said:

    Sargsyan emphasised that the Armenian Genocide is a pivotal issue for Armenians and the government, but said the Armenian people should overcome the century long animosity toward Turkey.

    Oh of course, we should overcome and forget the whole thing…??? What kind of comment was that!?

  2. Arman said:

    Mr. Sargsyan must not expect Armenians to change their attitude toward Turkey unless that country ends its genocidal animosity.  Turkey is not and can not be a friend to even Eastern Armenians, and if Eastern Armenian politicians think that Turkey will be genuinely a friend and partner, they are dellusional. As long as Turkey refuses to account for its great crimes, it must be viewed as being capable of committing them again. In reality, by denying the Armenian genocide, Turkey is committing it again and again. The most critical element in this situation is that unless the Diaspora Armenians (which are the only true heirs and owners of Western Armenia) return to Western Armenia, they (being nearly 5 million) will eventualy disappear as a living entity, probably within 150 years. That is proof that even modern day Turkey is not only responsible for the Armenian genocide in its occurence and historical denial, but also is and will continue to be responsible for the Armenian genocide of the present and future.  The truth is this is exactly what Turkey wants-Turkey wants all Armenians around the world to become annihilated through assimilation and inter-marriages and to only deal with Eastern Armenia, which it believes it can easily handle. Turkey’s dream scenario is to deal with only 2.5 million Eastern Armenians and forever be rid of all descendants of Western Armenian genocide survivors. This is a doomsday scenario for the Armenian world which must not be allowed to happen, lest the Armenian Genocide once and for all reaches the true zenith of its potential. The reality is that Turkey didn’t finish the job as they would have loved to do, and now they are bitching that Armenians are raising claims in the international community, therefore it racked its brain as to how to best derail Armenian efforts, and so came these illegal Protocols. 

    • Arpen said:

      Arman, your determinations are right. But, what i could not understand was your worrying about the disappearance of diaspora Armenians in 150 years.
      Why do they not want to come back to Armenia if  they are really worried about being assimilated? We have our own country now, although the Western Armenia is yet to be part of us. This way they will be saved from disappearing. And we would have enough power to change the current government, if enough like minded Diaspora brothers agree to live in Erivan.

  3. Hovsep (Osik) Movsessian said:

    Where were you hiding Mr. Prime Minister?
    I don’t believe to my eyes reading these lines.

  4. Pingback: Armenia to Annul Protocols if Turkey Pursues Karabakh Precondition … | Turkey Live

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  6. MGL said:

    Nice reply by Tigran Sargsyan to Hurriyet:
     “The best way to prevent war is to be ready for it. If there is any time that Azerbaijanis feel that we are not ready for war, nothing will stop them from breaking the peace, which is why we are not afraid. What would we lose other than our chains?”

  7. Barkev Asadourian said:

    Diaspora Armenians say ignore that protocols we don’t need them at all, whether Turkey
    pursuesing that precondition or not , why every thing must Turkey’s decision  first, let’s to
    hear from TRAITORS to declare for to canceled all protocols without previous notice
    enough to play games on ARMENIANS HISTORY get out the chairs ASAP.

  8. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    Since the 10th century, Armenians have never had any positive diplomacy. Any time, any Prime Minister has no right to talk with “ifs.” Any “if” shows the infantilism of that Prime Minister. Therefore the value of Mr. Sarksyan’s interview with “Hurriyet Daily” is sixpence without Moon.

  9. John said:

    While we are on the subject on what is needed for Armenia and Armenians, we also need to rid Armenia of old soviet style phony elections to stop the self serving thugs from filling their pockets with money that really belongs to the Armenian people. Only in this way will the true will of the people be fulfilled. Sorry, Serg also needs to go!

  10. Hairenakitz said:

    In my sincere opinion; if the Diaspora Armenian ‘entity’ comes to that conclusion that Turkish denial of Armenian Genocide and repudiation of facts is going to go beyond 2015 (The Centenary), then ‘Diaspora Armenians’ should form “The Government in exile for Western Armenia” and manage the task with authority.

    • Arman said:

      Yes I agree with you. For many years I have believed that Diaspora Armenians should have formed a government in exile. Kurds have one today (I beleiev it is located in Germany), the French had one during World War II (the Free French formed a government in exile in London with DeGaulle, Leclerc and others), and the Russian intelligentsiya and Orthodox Church exiled to New York City when the Communists overthrew the Czar. A few years ago Putin welcomed the Russian Church’s leaders from New York back to Russia.  This Western Armenian government in exile should have existed between World War I and 1991, when there was no Armenia on the globe’s map to speak of. It should have been a true people’s democracy based on elections with rotating and shared powers, and be tasked with representing the people’s claims on the world stage as best as it could, taking into account that it is a stateless government in exile and has only limited capabilities. This government in exile would have been composed of political parties united and working together. It seems all during the decades of Communist domination of Eastern Armenia, the Diaspora managed to achieve everything except the final crowning of its parties, churches and orgnizations into one super integrated body being a government in exile. This government in exile could conceivably have been located either in Europe, the United States or Middle East. It would require great care and effort by people of vision, who wish only to trample the petty obstacles and chains created in the minds and mouths of petty people who have been the plague of the Armenian Nation for centuries under foreign rule, which stifled vision, creativity, leadership, strength and boldness, and only bred fear, weakness, mistrust and corruption. Well, today there exists an independent Armenia which is also doing these same negative things to its people and preventing them from reaching their potential, because both Armenia and its people are held hostage by gansgers and criminals which must be liquidated.  Armenia is held hostage by casinos, prostitutes, daily murders and criminal oligarchs.

  11. Harout Akhverdian said:

    Bravo Paron sarkisyan ay sens piti xosas srans het vorov hetev irans brnas gorse het iransa kasi talis and keep up the pressure on Turkey and we all know the turks did these so called protocol busllshit to convince Obama that they want to be friends with us ya right just before April 24, we all should come together and bring up the pressure on turkey than again it is to late and turkey is loosing its touch inthe international comunity as we speak

  12. Dave said:

    It is not clear that Armenia entirely controls its own foreign policy.  Russia has vast influence. 
    It thinks it is getting something out of this protocol business and it is trying to drive a wedge between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

     Why do we keep forgetting that, as if Armenia’s leaders are free agents?  By the way, Armenia looks pretty stupid for saying that the protocols have no preconditions while at the same time now admitting that there is an IMPLIED Turkish condition: Artsakh.

    Turkey was never in denial about this. It was always upfront about what it wanted. Armenia’s leaders were fooled however.  This is one reason that people in the Diaspora distust Armenia’s leaders.  Who can respect people like Sargsian who are clueless?  By the way, why do people say that Nalbandian was not smiling when the protocols were signed?  Asbarez itself has published pictures of Nalbandian smiling and clapping while Davutoglu, Hillary Clinton and several others are standing around beaming and clapping with the joy of the holiday season.  
    Hillary Clinton and FM Lavrov are are going to win Nobel Peace Prizes for all their hard work in scamming Armenia.  Once again, congratulations to all of you who believed in, and voted for, Obama.

  13. hrair said:

    Who is listening to you Mr. prime minister?????? Do you actually believe that the turkish government is listening to your or your threats?In this day and age, your facial hair is a sign of either a wanna be criminal or someone who doesn’t have any idea of personal hygiene. Point blank it’s offensive.  I hope when you end up in prison you might decide to pick up a BIC shaver and shave Axper jan.