YEREVAN–President Serzh Sarkisian sent a letter Monday to National Assembly Speaker Galust Sahakyan, informing about his decision to recall the Armenia-Turkey Protocols from the National Assembly consideration. He, did not, however, withdraw Armenia’s signature from the ill-fated document.
“When launching the process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations without preconditions, we were fully aware of all possible scenarios of future development. We were ready for both comprehensive normalization of relations through ratification of the protocols and their failure. We had nothing to conceal, as it would become clear to the world which party was guilty of missing the chance to open the last closed border in Europe,” said Sarkisian in his letter.
Sarkisian said during the almost six-year process Armenia has consistently supported the protocols process, but Turkey has shown lack of political will.
“We cannot but stress the lack of political will on the part of Turkey, the distortion of the letter and spirit of the protocols and the continuous attempts to pose preconditions. Parallel to that, on the threshold of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the policy of denial and revision of history gains new momentum,” added Sarkisian
“I have said on many occasions that time is not inexhaustible. I last did it from the podium of the UN General Assembly in September 2014. It’s a pity that this call failed to reach the Turkish leadership,” explained Sarkisian.
“Therefore, I have decided to recall the protocols on the ‘Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey’ and ‘Development of Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey; from the National Assembly,” concluded the letter.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau member and political affairs director Giro Manoyan said Sarkisian’s decision was sep in the right direction and is welcomed, but cautioned that it was not enough, because the document still contain inherent dangers to Armenia since Armneia’s signature is still on the protocols.
Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian offered the following statement following the Armenian Government’s call today to remove the ill-conceived Turkey-Armenia Protocols from Armenian Parliament consideration.
“Withdrawing these flawed and failed Protocols from Parliament represents a step in the right direction, one that needs to be followed immediately by the next logical step of withdrawing Armenia ‘s signature from these Ankara-inspired accords,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
“As we stressed in 2009 – and as is painfully clear today – Armenia should never have signed these one-sided agreements. Once in place, despite Turkey’s obvious lies and endless preconditions and manipulations, this farce was allowed to continue for far too long. Even through all of this, we remain encouraged that, despite Ankara’s efforts – through the Protocols and other instruments of denial – to downgrade the Armenian Genocide from an unpunished international crime into a simple bilateral conflict, the Armenian people – in our homeland and diaspora – remain united in our resolve for a truthful and just resolution of the Armenian Genocide,” continued Hamparian.
On April 23, 2009, an agreement of “mutual understanding,” defined as a “roadmap,” had been agreed upon by Armenia and Turkey assuring the world that mutually beneficial relations between them were forthcoming.
In the days leading to the signing of the proposals, Sarkisian made a tour of several Armenian communities around the world, including New York, Paris, Beirut, and Los Angeles, only to be met with scorn and outrage.
Public outcry had virtually no swaying influence on the resolve of the Armenian authorities, and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian alongside his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu signed the protocols in Zurich on Oct. 10, 2009.
On April 22, 2010, only seven months after signing the accord, Sarkisian made a statement, in which he made it clear that the political majority in the National Assembly considered statements from the Turkish side unacceptable, “specifically those by Prime Minister [Recepy Tayyip] Erdogan, who has again made the ratification of the Armenia-Turkey protocols by the Turkish parliament directly dependent on a resolution over Nagorno-Karabakh.”