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Armenia is burying Zurich protocols: World War I continues in Yerevan

28 January 2010 [15:00] - TODAY.AZ
There is "an informal concept" in diplomacy like “to express one’s position”

It means to make clear what your government thinks about a particular problem. These wordings are most often adjusted and perfected and voiced dozens of times.

U.S. Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley expressed such a position, stating that Washington favors the early ratification of the Armenia-Turkey protocols, and is ready to continue working with the executive power in both countries so that they, in turn, they will persuade legislators to ratify the protocols.

In fact, experts have warned that today it is hardly reasonable to call for early ratification of the protocols. Because Armenia has actually “buried” these protocols together with the negotiations.. The sensational, more precisely, scandalous decision by the Constitutional Court leaves no doubt in this regard.

Ankara has already expressed its surprise at Yerevan’s interpretation of the official diplomatic documents and understanding of international obligations and, according to some sources, is preparing a formal response. Both the Turkish foreign minister and prime minister pay particular attention to the diplomatic "somersault" in Yerevan in talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary General of OIC Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.     

The following question still remains open: What was Armenia relying on when modifying the text of the Zurich protocols? Any sensible person realizes that Yerevan cannot even theoretically impose its version of "reconciliation" with Turkey and Azerbaijan. The whole problem lies precisely in the peculiarities of mentality of the Armenian political "couteri" which perceives the situation not quite adequately, to put it mildly. External co-sponsors of informal talks which had excess expectations that once Armenia and Turkey reconcile, diplomatic complications in connection with the Armenian resolutions "will disappear by themselves, there will be peace in the South Caucasus with Russia’s losing monopoly control over Armenia” while being not aware that World War I is not over yet in most of the Armenian political "couterie," especially in the Armenian Diaspora.

The ministers, getting together for signing ceremony of the protocols in Zurich, were ignorant of the difference between Kars and the Treaty of Sevres not thinking how the Woodrow Wilson arbitral award defined the Armenian-Turkish border and so on. In their views,  the Treaty of Sevres, th Woodrow Wilson decision and the passions of the early 20th century, when European capitals were dividing lands of the Ottoman Empire, now of interest except for historians. They certainly could not imagine that Armenia is still waiting for implementation of the promises that the Entente emissaries generously made to the Armenian politicians of the Ottoman Empire.

Most importantly, the start of the Armenian-Turkish negotiations will be seen as a sign that the world "thought of the long-suffering Armenian people” who once had not received the promised "Western Armenia" in Turkish lands, and now will easily present Van, Ardahan, Mount Agri-Dag ("Ararat"), and Trabzon with access to the Black Sea, and even Adana as a bargain.

Nevertheless, this is not the whole problem. Armenia likes to announce over and over that it is far more European than all neighbors in the region together.

However, Yerevan’s reaction on its way of "football diplomacy" has shown that the mentality of the Armenian politicians are much closer to the Middle East than to Europe. Because they prefer not to analyze documents and the real balance of power, but try to decipher and interpret gestures. They do it more often in a wrong manner. Anyway, when Turkish President Abdullah Gul went to Yerevan, Ankara saw it was a political gesture which was to "break the ice" and create a climate of trust.

Yerevan perceived it as Turkey’s capitulation not only to Armenia with the Armenian lobby, not to suddenly resurgent Entente whose leaders, forgetting about the calendar, rush to shake the dust off the folder with the words "Treaty of Sevres" or "Armenian question". And they  sat down to wait when Turkey will dutifully carry out all the Armenian claims. Since it did not happen and could not simply happen, Yerevan is frantically looking for a way out of this situation.

Armenia cannot recognize the border with Turkey and abandon "the dream of Ararat" for obvious reasons. It cannot also do on the international stage what the Armenian audience reasons. The diplomatic crisis triggered by the Armenian Constitutional Court decision was programmed back in those years when Armenia lived in the 21st century in the international arena, but with realities of the First World War inside the country. I mean, not the First World, but "safe houses" of Dashnaks of early 20th century when they argued that "foreigners will help us” and even in a nightmare could not imagine that Europe will simply put Armenians aside along with their “historical interest” when the balance of powers changes. Armenia has not yet understood and accepted this simple reality.     

Today, on the backdrop of Yerevan’s inappropriate behavior Turkey cannot help wondering what country has gained from the political process of negotiations with Armenia which cost very much. Because of this Turkey now has to pay "real price" for gas, to jeopardize its relations with Azerbaijan and a chance to gain a foothold in the Central Asia as Armenia is neither prepared to recognize the current border with Turkey nor stop efforts aimed at "recognition of the Genocide of 1915” which Turkey expected from the talks with Armenia first and foremost.
The plot of the "time machine" first appeared in the works of science fiction. But the film "Ivan Vasilyevich is Changing His Profession" leaves no doubt that people from the past, caught in the modern world, is an invaluable source of material for the effervescent comedies. But in Armenia’s case the whole country got from the early twentieth century to the beginning of 20th century without transition. Here the "entanglement " that could become material for comedy in the movie can end in tragedy. Because people find it very hard to abandon their illusions. That is the "harmonization of the times" in diplomacy.

Day.Az writer

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