Official Yerevan on Monday praised U.S. President Barack Obama’s carefully worded statement on the 1915 massacres of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey, while regretting his failure to describe them as genocide, RFE/RL reports.
“President Obama’s statement was a step forward from relevant statements made by other U.S. presidents,” Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian told the Armenpress news agency. “That statement contains very strong points. President Obama said that he has repeatedly spoken out on the events of 1915 and that he has not changed those views.”
“President Obama used the phrase Mets Yeghern. We Armenians ourselves use both the terms genocide and Mets Yeghern.”
Seems like US has assigned the role of appeasing the Diaspora to the Armenian authorities, and they are doing the job well.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Nalbandian, apparently to thank for the understanding stance and give a pat on the back. In diplomatic lingo that sounded like this: “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was reported to describe as “historic” a Turkish-Armenian statement on the normalization of bilateral relations.”
While ARF-Dashnaktsutyun’s strong wording and pulling out of ruling coalition initially raised my suspicion about the course of action in Armenia’s foreign policy, the latest announcements by Nalbandian and Clinton’s phone call persuaded once again, that US is behind the April 22 Armenia – Turkey – Switzerland announced ‘roadmap’, which means there are actually certain guarantees of it being fair to Armenia, so now I’m going to give up skepticism and wait a little longer.
Yep, that’s how I’d advise people to approach this too, and said so before the Dashnaks threw a tantrum conveniently timed before the municipal election. They could have asked at the Security Council, but…
Of course, we also still need to see the roadmap, but this was always clearly a U.S.-pushed endeavor with Obama saying quite clearly that there is no doubt about what happened in 1915.
It is also indicative of a larger push by the US and EU to bring peace and stability to the region, opening borders, and getting rid of the baggage of the past to look to the future.
The problem is that Heritage and ARF-D over-react, attempt to exploit nationalist fears, and continue to pump out territorial claims on Turkey as well as Georgia and Azerbaijan. Not happening.
Ironically, it will be nationalists in Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Diaspora who together will try to prevent any of this happening even if the road map does support the “historical truth.”
Interesting discussion going on at Washington Post, worth taking a look: http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/postglobal/2009/04/reconciliation_for_turkey_and/all.html
Whatever the decision is it is illegitimate because it involves an illegitimate government from Armenian side and an illegitimate process. If it was democracy the government would put the proposal or the road map in a referendum before even moving further. Such big issues that impact the future of the country should go through national referendum.
Excellent in-depth review of the Turkish Armenian situation by the European Stability Institute entitled:
“Noah’s Dove Returns. Armenia, Turkey and the Debate on Genocide”
21 April 2009
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