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Me is not me, the signature is not mine or how Armenia is going to open the border with Turkey

19 February 2010 [14:00] - TODAY.AZ
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan keeps on showing external peacefulness toward "Turkey."

He stated in a rather incoherent speech at London's Chatham House that the Zurich protocols have been forwarded to the Armenian parliament for ratification. Armenian media described in detail how the parliamentary speaker will launch a commission that will review these protocols.

However, whether Sargsyan was able to secure popularity as a "peacemaker" still remains an open question. First, Turkey forwarded the protocols to parliament several months before they did so in Armenia. And it is up to the independent parliament to ratify them until Armenia withdraws from Azerbaijan’s occupied lands to include them in the agenda or not.

Second, Armenia has consistently pointed out that it will consider the accords only after Turkey ratifies them. So, it remains unclear whom and of what sending the protocols in the Armenian parliament is supposed to say. Moreover, statements in the style of "after you, gentlemen!” are not practiced in developed countries. It can be decided only in consultations between the president and parliamentary speaker. Journalists and political scientists can argue that the country will ratify the accords only after the opposite side does so. Presidents never make such statements especially from the rostrum of the Chatham House.

Sargsyan seemed quite funny when he assured that the ratification of the protocols will face no problems. So, the Armenian leader has put himself in a trap – now he must either abandon his promises to "ensure the ratification” and expect a positive verdict from the Turkish Grand National Assembly, or "push” the ratification in his own parliament without waiting for Turkey to do so and again to break his own promise not to ratify the protocols until a positive verdict is received from Ankara. In short, in the best-case scenario, the Armenian president will look like an unserious politician giving conflicting and patently unrealistic promises.

But this is not the main thing. The Armenian government has approved a law providing for Armenia’s withdrawal from international treaties. No one doubts that this primarily applies to the Armenian-Turkish accords. Armenia still threatens that if Turkey drags out time and does not ratify the protocols at least next week, it will be offended and withdraw from the process.

You can, of course, speculate about "political will for reconciliation" and who has it more  the other – the Turkish or the Armenian president. But a fact remains: Ankara has displayed this political will in full from the outset. But if overcoming the “historical stereotypes” and “age-old hatred” were the key goals, this problem might actually be addressed through football matches and protocol smiles. Today, however, it is clear that obstacles in the negotiation process could hardly be solved with the help of a festive concoction by Turkey’s First Lady Hayrunisa Gul and a stadium adorned with Swarovski crystals. Armenia may try to prove that the Zurich protocols make no single mention of the Karabakh conflict and the withdrawal of troops from Azerbaijan’s occupied lands as much as it can, but there is no doubt that these protocols provide for the recognition of borders and a joint study into controversial historical events.

Armenia turned out to be absolutely unready for this since in this case it would have to remove the image of Agri-Dagh from its coat of arms and reconcile with the fact that "Western Armenia" is eastern Turkey. And those who participated in a procession to the monument "to the victims of genocide" every year on April 24 knew that the "genocide" will not work, and most of the documentary evidence will turn out to be common and flagrant fakes. Knowing this, they decided to withdraw from the negotiations loudly slamming the door.  

Frankly, these are not new tactics. The Armenian president, who is also the president of the Armenian Chess Federation, Sargsyan knows what lies behind the expression "to turn over the board." Though he knows this, he is unlikely to say it out loud. So, as a rule, they act when the situation on the board has no way out.

Day.Az writer

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