Since August 31, 2009, the Armenian people have been focused on the mutually agreed protocols for the establishment and development of relations between Turkey and Armenia.
We realize that Armenians and Turks are bound to live as neighbors, but we also believe that peaceful coexistence between the peoples of any neighboring countries should be based on the premises of justice and mutual respect for each other’s rights in an atmosphere of trust and sincerity.
Based on this belief, we conclude that the Armenia-Turkey protocols, drafted with mediation by Switzerland, to be a document that, once again, tramples upon the dignity and rights of the Armenian people, and instead of establishing peace between the peoples of Armenia and Turkey, they pave the way for renewed tensions and crises.
We were expecting that during this period of public discussion announced by the President of Armenia, it would be possible to amend and improve this document with the input of Armenians from Armenia and the Diaspora, basing it on principles of justice and human rights. These principles envision Turkey to assume responsibility for the Genocide and agree to reparations. However, to our great disappointment, we learned that the protocols cannot be amended and are to be accepted, or rejected, as they stand.
Under these circumstances, the Armenian Relief Society finds the protocols, which clearly counter the national interests of the Armenian people and pose a threat to the national security of Armenia, totally unacceptable. We reject the protocols in the name of chapters and members of the organization, which is active in 26 countries around the world. This organization, whose scattered presence around the globe is the direct result of the Genocide itself and for decades since 1915, has been gathering the orphaned and widowed survivors of the Genocide under its humanitarian umbrella, and has spared no effort to keep the torch of Armenian cause alive in the hearts of generations of Armenians.
In the name of all Armenian women widowed by the Turkish scythe and their orphaned children, we ask the Armenian Government to take a step back from the edge of the precipice, and to realize the grave consequences, and to join the protest raised globally against these dubious protocols, and to reinstate the unity of the people and the state.
ARS CENTRAL EXECUTIVE BOARD
September 25, 2009