YEREVAN—Armenia’s foreign ministry Tuesday countered earlier statements by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said that the process to create a historic commission, as envisioned by the Armenia-Turkey protocols, has already begun.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tigran Balayan said that the creation of intergovernmental commissions cannot happen without the ratification of the protocols by the parliaments of Turkey and Armenia.
During an interview in Moscow with Vladimir Pozner and in response to a question on whether President Obama has abandoned his campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide, Clinton said: “I don’t think anyone has forgotten, but what has happened that is of great import is the work going on between Turkey and Armenia. In fact, I was in Zurich last fall with the foreign ministers of Turkey, Armenia, Russia, France, other countries to witness the signing of a set of protocols to normalize relationships between Armenia and Turkey. And in those protocols, there was an agreement between the two countries to establish a historical commission that would look at all of the issues that are part of the past.”
“And I think that’s the right way to go, I think, to have the two countries and the two peoples focusing on this themselves. I have said many times we cannot change the past we inherit. All we can do is try to have a better future,” added Clinton.
When asked whether the commission exists, Clinton said: “They’re working to create it,” and reaffirmed the creation upon further inquiry.
“Not until the protocols are ratified will steps envisioning normalization of relations and opening of the Armenia-Turkey border be taken,” Balayan, the spokesman for Armenia’s foreign ministry, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Armenia service.
Balayan added that the Armenian Genocide issue was not a matter of discussion.
“As has been said on numerous occasions by the country’s president and foreign minister, the veracity of the Genocide is not a topic of discussion. Armenia hasn’t discussed it, nor will discuss the veracity of the Genocide,” added Balayan.