YEREVAN (ARF Press Office)—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s governing Bureau on Wednesday issued a statement on the January 11 decision by Armenia’s Constitutional Court to uphold the legality of the government’s controversial normalization agreements with Turkey. We present the translated text of the statement.
On January 12, 2010 the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia examined the constitutionality of the responsibilities undertaken by the Armenian side according to the signed Armenian-Turkish protocols.
Thus began the process of ratifying the Protocols that endanger out national interests and contradict the founding principles of our state, as stipulated in the Constitution.
The ARF had, from the start, rejected the three main points in the protocols which it considered to be preconditions aiming at: undermining the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide; legitimizing the current border between Armenia and Turkey; and linking the normalization of the relations between Armenia and Turkey with the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Azerbaijan’s favor.
We were, and still are, convinced that the signed protocols contradict with Armenia’s constitution to a degree sufficient to provide the Constitutional Court with valid legal basis to consider the protocols unconstitutional.
While, unfortunately that didn’t occur, we are convinced that the mounting resentments expressed in Armenia and the Diaspora against the protocols is yielding results. First, as the decision reached by the Constitutional Court also indicates, the signing of the protocols is the result of the poor performance of Armenia’s Foreign Minister. Second, the Constitutional Court has indicated that the establishment of relations with Turkey should be strictly diplomatic in nature, and has accepted the opening of the border between Armenia and Turkey. Moreover the Constitutional Court did refer to the expressed concerns regarding the protocols and has provided enough legal basis for Armenia to express reservations regarding some of the points in the protocols.
The Constitutional Court specifically passed a decision that the protocols are considered to be a bilateral agreement between Armenia and Turkey and that the Republic of Armenia could not speak on behalf of a third party, in this case Nagorno-Karabakh.
On the issue of the Genocide, any responsibilities that Armenia should undertake based on the provisions of the protocols can not contradict the preamble of Armenia’s constitution and the 11th point of Armenia’s declaration of independence which explicitly mentions that the Republic of Armenia will support the international recognition of the Genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and in Western Armenia.
As far as defining the border between Armenia and Turkey is concerned, the protocols do not have any legal premise to delineate those boundaries. Hence this is still an open issue, and one that could be resolved solely based on a future inter-state agreement.
Having the Constitutional Court’s decision, the ARF is convinced that the decision could diffuse the dangers expressed in the protocols if at the time of the ratification, the reservations expressed by the Constitutional Court become an integral part of the ratified protocols.
We consider that the decision reached by the Constitutional Court is the successful end product of a struggle that has brought together the efforts of the ARF, other political and social groups as well as the whole nation. However the challenge still, lies ahead. We have to increase our efforts exponentially and force the authorities of Armenia to bring this process to a conclusion
Our final goal is to normalize Armenian –Turkish relations without undermining the interests of the nation and the state and specifically without giving any concessions from the rightful demands of generations of our people.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation
January 12, 2010