Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister says Davutoglu should visit Dzidzernagapert instead of making divisive statements.
YEREVAN—The Armenian government slammed Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for undermining the peace process in the South Caucasus by continuing to precondition the resolution of the Karabakh conflict with normalizing of Turkey-Armenia relations.
Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Savarsh Kocharyan responded to Davutoglu, who announced last week that he would visit Yerevan for the December 12 meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization and hinted, over the weekend, that he might broach Turkey-Armenia relations while in Yerevan.
“Instead of making provocative statements, the Turkish foreign minister would do right by taking the chance to visit the Armenian Genocide Memorial to pay tribute to the memory of the [Armenian Genocide] victims,” Kocharyan told Armenpress Saturday.
“Turkey can contribute to the normalization of relations with Armenia by ratifying and implementing, without any preconditions, the Armenian-Turkish Protocols,” added Kocharyan
“If Turkey wishes to further accelerate the establishment of civilized relations between the countries of the region, it must recognize the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire, and open the Armenian-Turkish border which it closed,” added Kocharyan stated.
Kocharyan’s comments came in response to Turkish press reports indicating that while in Armenia, Davutoglu would propose the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border if Armenia “cede(s) from at least two of the seven regions Armenia has been occupying since 1993,” reported the Hurriyet Daily News.
While there has been no official indication about a meeting between Dovutoglu and Armenia’s Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian, the Turkish foreign ministry told Hurriyet that such a meeting is “highly possible.”
Turkey has refused to ratify the dangerous Turkey-Armenia protocols, which were signed in 2009, saying that Turkey will sign the accord only after the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in favor of Azerbaijan.
Davutoglu recently re-visited the Turkey-Armenia normalizations process, when in October he visited Switzerland and brought up the matter with Swiss leaders.
“We are now looking to develop it and advance with creative ideas and new ways of thinking. We will increase our works in the coming period. When relations between Turkey and Armenia are normalized, most of the issues between Azerbaijan and Armenia will also be within the framework of a solution,” Davutoglu said during his visit to Bern in October, when he also sought Switzerland’s support for steps in developing ties with Armenia.
Protests Awaits Davutoglu
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Nigol Aghabalian Student Organization announced that it would protest Davutoglu’s visit to Armenia Thursday.
The organization’s chairman Gerasim Vardanyan said the protesters will demand recognition of the Armenian Genocide and reparations to its victims.
“One thing is clear,” said Vardanyan, “We will remind Turkey, once again, that owes a debt to Armenia and that there are unresolved issues.”
ANCA Issues Statement on Davutoglu Visit
Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian issued the following statement Friday on Davutolglu’s visit.
Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu’s upcoming visit to Armenia for a December 12th regional conference shines a spotlight on Ankara’s continued use of its Protocols to escape liability for mass murder, vast theft, and the wholesale dispossession of a nation of its ancestral homeland.
The Armenian nation and all peoples should use this visit by a leading official of a perpetrator state to the land of its surviving victims to strengthen our call for a truthful, just, and comprehensive international resolution of the Armenian Genocide. In coming to terms with its responsibilities, Turkey must not only end its denials and stop its obstruction of justice, but also cease its century-long policy of anti-Armenian aggression, strangulation, and coercion rooted in the legacy of this still unpunished crime.
The United States and our partners in the international community, rather than abetting Ankara by arm-twisting Yerevan into a politically untenable and morally unacceptable policy of “normalization without justice,” should be pressing Turkey to forfeit its genocidal gains, to fully return all it has stolen, and to fairly compensate the Armenian nation for its vast and ongoing losses.
The Armenian Genocide—an act of premeditated mass murder and national dispossession—is not a bilateral “conflict” to be reconciled, but rather an ongoing international crime that all nations, not Armenia alone, have a moral and legal responsibility to punish.