YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–The dialogue with Turkey could hurt Armenia, said Armenian Revolutionary Federation Political Director Giro Manoyan Monday during a press conference.
Manoyan emphasized that any agreement on the border opening must accompany relevant documents on the establishing of diplomatic relations between the two countries, saying that opening of the borders would be meaningless with such an agreement.
Speaking at a news conference on Friday, President Serzh Sarkisian said Armenia would “emerge from this process stronger” in any case because the international community will have no doubts about its commitment to an unconditional normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations.
“In a sense, we share the president’s opinion,” said Manoyan, “But it all depends on how long those negotiations will continue and whether or not we will lose something else in the process.”
Manoyan said that Armenia, up to now, has successfully avoided the inclusion of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process in its discussions with Turkey. However, he said, the recent vocal opposition to any agreement between Armenia and Turkey by Azerbaijan could compel Turkey to take a second look.
In the event that Turkey yields to Azeri demands, Manoyan said, the talks will crumble.
Manoyan explained that Turkey has entered this process because of its regional interests and the talks of an impending agreement were strategically positioned to ward off any possible recognition of the Genocide by President Barack Obama, who made a campaign pledge to properly characterize the events of 1915 as genocide.
“One of the reasons why Turkey began the negotiations is to prevent Obama from uttering the word genocide on April 24,” he told journalists. “And if the Turks succeed in doing that, I think we will not quite emerge stronger whatever the outcome of the negotiations.”
Obama avoided using the term during his visit to Turkey last week, citing the need not to undermine the Turkish-Armenian talks. He said those talks “could bear fruit very quickly, very soon.”
However, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has since twice stated that his country will not establish diplomatic relations with Armenia and open the Turkish-Armenian border before a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “We will not sign a final deal with Armenia unless there is agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia on Nagorno-Karabakh,” Erdogan said on Friday, according to the Anatolia news agency.
Manoyan reiterated that any agreement between Armenian and Turkey should not call into question the veracity of the Armenian Genocide. He also said that the ARF would publish its assessment of the political and economic implications on Armenia of an Armenian-Turkey agreement in the near future.