Armenia-Turkey protocols exhausted - Turkologist

13:25 • 10.10.17

The protocols on normalizing the bilateral relations and opening the border between Turkey and Armenia are exhausted in essence, with the current developments showing no logical sign for continuing the process, according to Levon Hovsepyan, an expert in Turkish studies.

The controversial protocols, signed between the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers in Zurich, Switzerland on October 10, 2009 (in a ceremony attended by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner and Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov) were never ratified to be called to life. At the UN General Assembly’s 72nd session in New York, President Serzh Sargsyan said Armenia will declare the documents null and void unless Turkey ratifies them by the coming spring.

“The president’s speech stemmed from the logic of Armenia’s policy line; it came as a response to the policies pursued. What the Armenian politics sought over the past year was to give Turkey a chance, from time to time, to make certain steps towards normalizing the relations.  As that didn’t  happen, Armenia issued its hastily-made but later also very cautiously and logically worded ultimatum, which culminated in the president’s speech saying that he sees absolutely no point in keeping this uncertainty going in light of Turkey’s breaches,” Hovsepyan told reporters.

Noting that Armenia is holding presidential elections in 2018, the expert said he expects the issue to be already on the next government’s agenda. “The new government will be considering it based on the logic of its own policy line,” he added.

But Hovsepyan said he doesn’t expect any ultimatum to make Turkey revise and re-evaluate its behavior.

“Considering the Turkish authorities’ posture, their conduct and rhetoric, and the internal political situation, I don’t think we can expect them to initiate any process now. It is obvious, on the other hand, Turkey is now potentially governing itself by other priorities, particularly the complicated developments in the Middle East,” he added.


Asked whether President Sargsyan is likely to recall the protocols on the anniversary day, Hovsepyan said he sees a logical continuation of the process.  


 “Certain steps will be implemented in that direction, considering the political and diplomatic expediency,” he added.


Hovsepyan said he thinks that the president’s ultimatum was a message to not only Turkey but also the countries which acted as mediators.


“It was a clear sign that Armenia will logically take a further step by recalling the protocols. I believe that the international community did really appreciate such a proactive behavior by the country,” he added.


Nelly Lazaryan


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