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16.2.15

The Turkey-Armenia Protocols: The End

In a statement issued on February 16, 2015, Armenian President Serge Sargsyan said he had asked National Assembly speaker Galust Sahakian to return the protocol to him. This marks the announced end of the protocols brokered by the United States and Russia, with the intermediation of Switzerland, in 2009.

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, Sargsyan 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, Sargsyan 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 [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, who has again made the ratification of the Armenia-Turkey protocols by the Turkish parliament directly dependent on a resolution over Nagorno-Karabagh.”
In his letter, Sargsyan says that prior to embarking on the process of normalizing Armenia-Turkey relations, the Armenian side had taken into account all possible future developments. The president stressed that just as they were prepared for the regulation of relations via the ratification of the protocols, they were also prepared for their failure. “…We had nothing to hide and it will become clear to the international community, as to who is responsible for the last closed border in Europe…” the letter reads.
“Almost six years have passed since the signing of the Armenia-Turkey protocols. During this entire time, Armenia has always illustrated a consistent position regarding the implementation of the protocols. However, it is necessary to point out the absence of political will by Turkey’s rulers, and the distortion of the spirit and letter of the protocols and the continual discussion of preconditions. Parallel to this, on the cusp of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the policy of denialism and the editing of history has gained more impetus,” Sargsyan’s letter states.
The President said that he has used every opportunity to raise this issue, including from the podium of the United Nations General Assembly in September, 2014 when he made some tough statements about Turkey’s intransigence and unwillingness to ratify the protocols.
“It pains me that Armenia’s entreaties were not heard by the leaders of Turkey. Thereby, I have taken a decision to recall the Armenia-Turkey protocols, signed on October 10, 2009 in Zurich, from the National Assembly.”

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