YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—At the initiative of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, 12 political parties and organizations Tuesday issued an announcement against the Armenia-Turkey protocols, calling for changes to ward off the inherent threats in the document.
“The need to join forces and act together is apparent, and this initiative is aimed at ending the process based on the pre-determined protocols,” said ARF Supreme Council of Armenian chairman Armen Rustamian
He explained that the parties that have already signed the announcement were initiating a united front to thwart efforts that will pit Armenia in unwanted and dangerous territory.
Also signing the announcement were the Heritage Party, founded by Armenia’s former foreign minister Raffi Hovannisian and the Ramkavar-Azatakan party, whose Western US chapter joined the protocol protests in the Western US.
The parties said in their statement that Armenia and Turkey have no mutual treaty, adding that by recognizing the existing border—effectively the 1921 Kars Treaty—Armenia, for the first time as an independent state, will ratify the part of the treaty that is essential to Turkey thereby satisfying one of its key preconditions.
The parties also voiced their concern over the planned establishment of a Turkish-Armenian intergovernmental sub-commission to conduct an “impartial scientific examination of historical documents and archives.” The signatories assert that such an agreement will effectively halt all efforts for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. This has been Turkey’s longstanding precondition to normalizing relations.
One other major concern voiced by the parties was the evident link between normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations to the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, especially the clause in the protocols that emphasizes the principle of territorial integrity and ignores the principle right to self-determination of nations.
“Thus, Turkey gets [Armenia] to meet another precondition, which is demanding that Armenia and mediators ensure developments in the Karabakh resolution process that are suitable to it. And finally, by registering a bilateral decision to open the border that was closed by Turkey unilaterally, Turkey in fact shares its responsibility for keeping the border closed until today with Armenia,” the statement said.
Rustamian called on other political forces for add their signatures to the announcement.
“The situation is indeed very serious, and the political groups that put their signatures to this joint statement set the beginning of the formation of a single front that will make it possible to prevent developments that are undesirable and damaging for us,” Rustamian told RFE/RL.
Rustamian added that they still hope the Armenian authorities will not sign the protocols.
“This is an issue of a pan-national significance. This is not a matter of leadership change. This is an issue of our future, our future generations… This unity, in its essence, is pure and sincere. I am confident that all national forces must come to this field,” emphasized Rustamian.