Armenia, Turkey release joint statement

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Armenian and Turkish foreign ministries released a joint statement today, claiming they have agreed “on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations in a mutually satisfactory manner.”

The statement comes at a time, when most analysts in Armenia are speaking of a deadlock in Armenia – Turkey negotiations, saying Turkey has used Armenia for its purposes, not giving anything in return.

Furtherfore, RFE/RL reports, top leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) harshly criticized on Wednesday President Serzh Sarkisian’s policy toward Turkey, saying that it has only harmed Armenia and earned Ankara a role in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.

Today’s statement means one of the two things: either there really is some real progress, or – Armenian Foreign Ministry have gone absolutely nuts by releasing such a statement 1 day before April 24 – Armenian Genocide anniversary and a day, when US President Barac Obama is expected to make a statement about the Armenian Genocide.

The full text of the statement is below:

“Turkey and Armenia, together with Switzerland as mediator, have been working intensively with a view to normalizing their bilateral relations and developing them in a spirit of good-neighborliness, and mutual respect, and thus to promoting peace, security and stability in the whole region.”

The two parties have achieved tangible progress and mutual understanding in this process and they have agreed on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations in a mutually satisfactory manner. In this context, a road-map has been identified.

This agreed basis provides a positive prospect for the on-going process.

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9 thoughts on “Armenia, Turkey release joint statement

  1. The Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a statement as well? So far no international wires have reported that, instead saying that the Turkish MFA has and Washington welcomes it. Of course, the MFA will have to release something to do or comment on news reports.

    Meanwhile, when you say most analysts, who do you mean? The pseudo-analysts in Armenia when many analysts in the West have instead noted that it was always going to be unlikely that Obama would use the word genocide because Turkey is just too important.

    Incidently, doesn’t take an analyst to understand the logic of that. However, what we do need analysts to do is to examine what is happening behind the scenes and how a possible parallel process in negotiations over Karabakh is taking shape.

    Ultimately, all of that is what is more pressing. Resolving the Armenian-Turkey impasse and the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Armenians should finally understand that these are pressing concerns for the U.S. and Europe, and especially after last year’s war in Georgia.

    Really, what else did people think?

    1. When I say analysts, I mean – from the top of my head, to name just a view: European Stability Initiative (report released today), Richard Giragosian (ACNIS), Richard Hovhannisian (University of California), Vercihan Ziflioghlu (Hyuriet), Boris Navasardian (YPC).

      I’ll throw in a couple of links to all the mentioned views later today.

  2. Well, sorry, very few in Washington and EU are likely to be listening to those people as “analysts,” many of whom change their positions constantly. I sure as hell don’t consider Richard Hovhannisian and Boris Navasardian to be analysts.

    Really, if people want to understand what is happening, I’d forget local news and analysts in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Nearly always they are politicized, ill-informed and rarely consistent or objective.

    1. That’s the whole point I’m making. Turkey has done a great deal to fool the Washington and EU analysts – and very successfully so.

  3. ARF Dashnaktsutyun and Miatsum have just come out with very strict statements, calling this move by the Armenian authorities a deception of Armenia’s national interest. ARF Dashnaktsutyun, in its statement, has said it will consider abandoning the ruling coalition.

  4. Incidentally, is it just me, or do these two pieces written by Giragosian in the space of 24 hours totally contradict each other?

    One criticizes the joint statement and says it is a failure for Armenia, whereas the other applauds it and says it can usher in a new and brighter future.

    […] this strategic error by the Armenian authorities is considerably more than simply a deficiency in foreign policy, but suggests a truly tragic, and possibly irrevocable step, […]

    http://www.a1plus.am/en/politics/2009/04/23/richard-kirakosyan

    […] this year’s commemoration differs greatly from previous such ceremonies, as Armenia and Turkey are now poised to forge a new and historic agreement on “normalizing” relations. […] the process of Armenian-Turkish normalization offers a fresh dose of optimism and hope […]. […] most importantly, each side now recognizes the fact that closed borders have only entrenched closed minds.

    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/needtoknow/2009/04/defining_a_future_as_neighbors.html

    Anyway, it’s just one reason why I never pay any attention to talking head press conferences in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey.

    Analysis inside and outside these countries is nearly always voiced differently. And sometimes, it seems, by the same people.

    1. Well – if you cut it out of context – it seems contradictory. But from what I’ve understood from Giragosian’s comments so far is – he is all for border opening and normalisation, but not in the fashion that was done with April 22nd statement.

      You are well aware – that I’ve been working on Armenia – Turkey border opening projects for the past year or so. And I most sinceely beleive, that border opening and normalisation of relations is the best thing that can happen to Armenia. However, I see the April 22nd statement by Foreign ministry as one gross miscalculation. I have a feeling, that Armenians have been fooled. Without being given any guarantees, without anything – they have gambled into making a statement and signing unders something – that Ergogan caraterised as just an “initialed protocol” which has no force and has to be discussed, etc, etc.

      Moreover, Turkish media reports say Ali Babacan – will be replaced by Erdoghan’s foreign policy advisor within days. Is that an indication of a possible policy shift in Turkey? Is that part of a well thought-through plan – and now Turkey will say – new foreign minister, new policies?

      1. Well, read them both in context. One paints the picture of a bleak future, the other of a bright one. Meanwhile, on the subject of this road-map — pushed by Obama and Switzerland — none of us can really say, right?

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