YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Armenian Foreign Minister, Eduard Nalbandian told a session of parliament Wednesday that the protocols on establishment and development of relations between Armenia and Turkey cannot be changed, indicating that any discussion on amending the documents before signing them is futile.
This was in response to a question from Armenian Revolutionary Federation bloc president Vahan Hovannesian, who asked whether the minister was willing to meet with political parties and organizations to discuss the protocols and make necessary amendments.
Nalbandian, in his first discussion about the protocols in parliament, said while he was willing to discuss the provisions of the protocols with various political forces and organizations, however the agreed upon protocols could not be changed.
“What kind of changes can the Armenian Foreign Ministry suggest to the already agreed upon protocols? It is strange,” said Nalbandian saying “It is the foreign ministry that held talks with the other foreign ministry [Turkey], and after agreeing to the protocols what kind of changes are expected to be put forth? This is very strange. If we propose changes, then they can propose changes.”
“Several suggestions from Turkey have not been approved. We have agreed upon these documents and have presented for public discussion, through which the public will be informed about the process and the National Assembly be prepared for deliberations and approval,” explained Nalbandian.
“It’s becoming clear that the six weeks that have been devoted for public discussions are actually not for discussing but rather becoming informed. These are two different things. Obviously, discussion of a matter also entails the possibility of introducing changes. But now, it’s clear that there is no need for changes and the National Assembly is being asked to vote for or against the protocols,” exclaimed Hovannesian.
“We have these agreed upon protocols. We have presented them to the public for discussion. Members of parliament, who are elected by the people, will have the opportunity to present their opinion on the matter during approval stage. Because of that there is an approval mechanism, at which time the National Assembly will express its position,” said Nalbandian.
“If there are elements that you don’t agree to, you will voice your opinion, and if the majority of the parliament also does not agree with them, then it will not approve the protocols,” said Nalbandian.