YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—President Serzh Sarksian extended an invitation Monday to leaders of political parties in Armenia to discuss the protocols on Armenia-Turkey relations, announced his press secretary Samvel Fermanian.
The meeting will be part of the protocol-mandated domestic discussion of the documents. A similar effort was kicked off in Turkey Friday, when Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with pro-government and opposition parties to discuss the matter.
Farmanian said that the meeting would be the third of its kind to bring together political forces in Armenia. The previous two, held in November and March, focused on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the global financial crisis respectively and were attended by 50 party leaders.
Farmanian told RFE/RL that the presidential administration has again sent out invitations only to the leaders of the parties making up the alliance.
Immediately after the announcement of the protocols on Aug. 31 the Armenian Revolutionary Federation expressed its opposition to specific provisions in the document that threaten Armenia’s national security and call into question the veracity of the Armenian Genocide.
Earlier Monday, before the presidential announcement of the Thursday meeting, ARF parliamentary bloc chairman and Bureau member Vahan Hovannesian told a press briefing that the public was dissatisfied with discussions under way to address the protocols.
He revealed his party’s intentions to meet with all members of parliament to address the ARF’s concerns regarding the protocols.
Hovannesian also said that the party will unveil a series of events and programs aimed at revealing the dangers inherent in the protocols and has proposed parliamentary hearings with the participation of experts and non-parliamentary party representatives.
He added that while the Heritage Party has agreed to such hearings, there has been no response from the other parties represented in Parliament that make up the ruling coalition.
“A protocol is not a treaty, but we are seeing elements resembling a treaty have found their way into the protocols,” said Hovannesian adding that there were no mechanisms in place to amend the protocols.