YEREVAN (Hayots Ashkharh)–During a press briefing Monday with the coordinator of the so-called Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission David Phillips–the editorial board director of the Yerkir weekly Gegham Manoukian reiterated the Armenian Revolutionary Federation position that relations between Turkey and Armenia must be preconditioned by Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The editorial board director of Yerkir–the official publication of the ARF Executive Council of Armenia–in an interview with Hayots Ashkharh daily said that he presented the ARF position on TARC and vocally objected to its past activities.
Manoukian said that based on a mutual agreement between the journalists and Phillips the details of the meeting could not be publicized–however–he expanded on the positions he presented–which included the discussion of TARC’s failure to meet its objectives–given that it was not formed in a democratic manner.
Furthermore–Manoukian reported that verification on the financing of the group by the US State Department was received during the meeting with Phillips.
Manoukian reported that he unequivocally conveyed to Phillips that TARC became an obstacle to Armenian national interests that its reemergence under another name or with a different composition of members will not alter the negative public opinion that has already been formed.
The ARF leader asserted that the issue at hand has nothing to with Turkish and Armenian reconciliation–but rather involves a much larger issues of relations between Turkey and Armenia–the preconditions for which must include pressure on Turkey to halt its enmity toward Armenia.
This–he said–can be achieved through diplomatic discussions among countries around the region–which have interests in seeing an end to the Turkey-Armenia’standoff.
The recognition of the Armenian Genocide–however–remains the most important issue of contention between Turkey and Armenia–Manoukian asserted.