Yerevan (Yerkir)—Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau chairman Hrant Markarian said in a press briefing Tuesday that his party will actively fight the protocols on establishing and developing relations between Armenia and Turkey announced last week.
With the draft protocols, Markarian said “we are actually giving up the right for our future generations to fight for their rights; we are calling into question the veracity of the Armenian Genocide—a matter of national security for Armenia and a matter of dignity and justice for our nation.”
The ARF leader went on to criticize the provisions of the protocol, which mandate the recognition of Turkey’s territorial integrity, explaining that the protocols do not contain any provisions that address peoples’ right to self-determination. He also pointed out that the territorial integrity provision is indirectly tied to the Karabakh conflict resolution and that is what Turkey and Azerbaijan are arguing as a final resolution.
If the protocols cannot be amended and “we are supposed to either say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’” then the Armenian people—regardless of where they reside—should say an unequivocal “no” to the documents, he added.
Markarian also remarked on a call by the Heritage Party to hold a referendum on the protocols, saying that the poor track record of previous elections and referendums in Armenia would be reason enough to oppose such a call. [Eds.: Furthermore, this being a national issue, a referendum would exclude the voice of the Diaspora.]
The ARF Bureau chairman said his party has developed a package of amendments to the protocols, which will be publicized in the coming days. The party will also promote a concise mechanism to fight the documents.
Markarian said that if the authorities ignore the public outrage over the protocols, they would effectively be “committing suicide.”
While not ruling out calls for the president’s resignation, Markarian explained that “The president, after all, is working with a professional team. The foreign minister is the key advisor in foreign policies. By demanding the foreign minister’s resignation, we are expressing our position. Demanding the resignation of the president should not be ruled out, we may get to that point some day,” he added.
Markarian called for national cooperation and unity in confronting this matter of grave importance to the Armenian nation and said his party was willing to work with any force that intends to fight for Armenia’s national interests.