YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation, in a statement issued Tuesday, slammed the draft protocols for the establishment and development of relations between Turkey and Armenia, calling their provisions “dangerous.” The protocols were issued Monday by the foreign ministries of the two countries and Switzerland.
ARF Bureau member Hrant Markarian denounced the protocols as “unacceptable,” in an interview with RFE/RL.
“I regret that our president is going to sign a document he has no right to sign,” Markarian told RFE/RL. “In the next two months we will do everything to inform the public about the essence of the agreement and issues hidden in it,” he said.
Markarian told RFE/RL that these concessions alone would not lead Ankara to reopen the Turkish-Armenian border. “I think it is a bit naïve to expect that state [Turkey] to subordinate Azerbaijan’s interests to its relations with Armenia,” he said. “Maybe there is another, hidden agreement whereby during the next two, three or six months the Karabakh conflict will be ‘solved.’ So [that means] all of Turkey’s three preconditions have been accepted.”
Upon the announcement of the protocols, the ARF Bureau and the Supreme Council of Armenia convened an emergency session and issued the following statement:
On August 31, 2009 protocols on the establishment and development of relations between the republics of Armenia and Turkey were officially announced.
Armenia and Armenians entered a new phase, which is encumbered with numerous threats and danger.
It was about these very concerns that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation continued to warn from the onset of the political process by intermittently expressing the following positions:
a. As neighboring states, Armenia and Turkey are bound to take steps to normalize relations. However, good neighborly relations can be established between the two countries only when Turkey recognized the Armenian Genocide and reestablishes the rights of the Armenian people. The establishment of relations without preconditions and lifting of the blockade were mere first steps.
b. The proposal by Armenia to establish relations without preconditions can be deemed a serious concession
c. It is unacceptable to establish relations with Turkey at the expense of our government’s sovereignty and viability, as well as the national rights of our future generations.
Based on these principles, the ARF on several occasions warned that Turkey is leveraging the entire process to benefit its own interests (impeding the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide effort, a pro-Azeri resolution to the Nargorno-Karabakh conflict) and is communicating with Armenia through obvious and veiled preconditions.
It is already evident that the published documents contain the well-known preconditions of the Turkish side. That is, to call into question the veracity of the Armenian Genocide and to invalidate the unwavering rights of the Armenian people. Furthermore, immediately following the release of the protocols, Turkey, through official statements, reiterated its third precondition: it will not undertake any steps that would contradict Azerbaijan’s interests. This means it is continuing to use the Karabakh issue as a precondition for the Armenia-Turkey process.
The ARF continues to insist that the foreign policy of Armenia has veered from its national doctrine and predictable developments will have irreversible consequences.
With these considerations, during this domestic deliberation stage, the ARF will utilize all means to expose the existing dangers within the protocols in an effort to neutralize them.
We call on the Armenian people and the political forces in Armenia to properly assess the Armenia-Turkey relations process with its negative consequences and, in the most unified manner, deter the possible irreversible losses.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation
September 1, 2009