ANKARA (Combined Sources)—The US and Switzerland have refrained from giving assurances to Turkey that limitations will not be placed on the “mission and methodology” of a historic commission to probe the veracity of the Armenian Genocide, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily reported Monday.
The creation of the so-called fact-finding body is outlined in fence-mending protocols signed between Ankara and Yerevan in October of last year.
Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu traveled to Bern last Friday to seek Swiss support for Ankara’s position that a ruling by the Armenian Constitutional Court on the protocols threatens to derail normalization efforts with Armenia. He will seek the same assurance from U.S. officials during a visit to Washington this month.
Armenia’s Constitutional Court on January 12 upheld the legality of the protocols, but stipulated that the protocols could have no bearing on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict or contradict Yerevan’s efforts to garner international recognition and condemnation for the Armenian Genocide as outlined by Armenia’s Declaration of Independence.
Despite assurances from Armenia that the Constitutional Court ruling would not affect the protocols process, Turkey’s foreign ministry began drafting a document late last month that delineates the Turkish position on what it calls the “incompatibilities” of Armenia’s Constitutional Court ruling and requires written legal guarantees from Yerevan that it will not include the court’s reservations in the documents.
Ankara was hoping to get the US and Switzerland to join this process. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu relayed Turkey’s concerns firsthand to European, American and Armenian officials during telephone conversations and on the sidelines of international conferences and reportedly discussed the matter with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a meeting in London in late January. Ankara also plans to apply to the OSCE Minsk Group and European Union.
But the general mood in Washington and other Western capitals is that Turkey’s reaction to the court ruling as “exaggerated” and it will be responsible for the possible failure of normalization efforts. Both Washington and Bern have said the court’s decision presents no legal obstacle to the implementation of the protocols.