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Turkish-Armenian relations: After the Washington meeting...

17 April 2010 [13:07] - TODAY.AZ
The long-awaited meeting between the Turkish prime minister and the Armenian president finally took place in Washington. The event had been anticipated for ages by many observers concerned about Armenian-Turkish dialogue. But the outcome was unexpected. The meeting was not followed by official statements or a joint communique. Rather, Turkish newspapers cited unnamed diplomatic sources as saying that the sides had failed to reach an agreement.

Frankly, there was little evidence of a future compromise prior to the negotiations. The fact that the meeting took place is a great success and something beyond expectations as Armenia has rejected the Madrid principles and refuses to create a joint commission of historians to determine what actually happened in 1915. Opinions diverge as to who is the winner and who is the loser.

Obama clearly demonstrated that the Armenian-Turkish dialogue "is more alive than dead." This was more than enough for Erdogan and Sargsyan to shake hands for the cameras. Erdogan received assurance from Obama, just as he did last year, and just as his predecessors in the White House had done earlier, that he will not utter the word "genocide" on April 24.

Meanwhile, Sargsyan seemed to restore the damaged relations with the Armenian diaspora. Indeed, his speech was met with a storm of applause by representatives of the Armenian community in the U.S. capital.

However, the resuscitated negotiations between Ankara and Yerevan had little life left in them, as Armenian officials opted to share the stance of the diaspora leaders.

Of course, we could guess that Turkey is trying to soften its requirements and make a compromise in the negotiations with Armenia. The only trouble is that the requirements advanced by Armenia are simply unrealistic. Ankara will not reconcile with Armenia on such terms. They will not tolerate the occupation of Karabakh.

However, Armenian leaders continue to stubbornly argue that in the near future "reconciliation" will take place under Armenian conditions, claiming that Obama will utter the word "genocide"  April 24. And this word is supposed to alter the situation in the region dramatically.

Today, U.S. State Department officials, not to mention Turkish politicians, including Erdogan, claim that Obama will not utter the "genocide." In the end, reviving the Armenian-Turkish dialogue is important, but not paramount for the president. It is more important to negotiate with Turkey on Iran and to discuss the situation in Iraq and the Middle East. Obama will never risk all of these very complex issues just to appeace Armenia, regardless of how strong the country's lobby may be.

Another thing is that Armenia is not likely to address this issue openly. Armenia needs to create conditions for real development. Otherwise no economic mechanism will work. It's like a race car without fuel.

Yerevan has simply made a choice between being a country ruled by Sargsyan and the Armenian diaspora. In reality, there is no escaping the simple fact that Armenia's and the diaspora's interests differ diametrically.

The shouts of “genocide” by some "Armenian committees," "commissions," and "assemblies," and also Armenian claims to Eastern Turkey, are costing Armenian citizens much more than the protocol meetings and wreaths. They want to live normally and not be afraid every minute of the day that the war might resume because simply put no country will tolerate the occupation of its land.

Day.Az writer

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