Sargsyan Leaves Room For Diplomacy, Earns U.S., French Praise

Armenia is suspending the ratification of the normalization protocols signed with Turkey in October 2009, until a time when Turkey is ready to “reengage in the normalization process,” president Serzh Sargsyan said on Tursday.

Serzh Sargsyan stopped short of walking away from the protocols completely. Before traveling to Washington to take part in Nuclear Security Summit and have a series of high profile meetings with U.S. President, Turkey’s Prime Minister, Serzh Sargsyan announced, that he has reached a ‘decision’ on Armenian Turkish normalization protocols, which the public will be informed about in due time. After an evidently unproductive meeting with Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan, Sargsyan made another statement, saying he was further assured that the ‘decision’ was a right one. Still, seems like meetings with U.S., French and Russian leaders after that announcement have had an effect.

“The matter of the fact is that our partners have urged us to continue the process, rather than to discontinue it,” Serzh Sargsyan declared in a speech posted on his website and aired by Armenia’s leading TV channels. “Out of respect for them, their efforts, and their sincere aspirations, we have decided … not to exit the process for the time being, but rather, to suspend the procedure of ratifying the Protocols. We believe this to be in the best interests of our nation.”

“Armenia shall retain her signature under the Protocols, because we desire to maintain the existing momentum for normalizing relations, because we desire peace,” he said, adding that Yerevan will be ready to kick-start the process “when we are convinced that there is a proper environment in Turkey and there is leadership in Ankara ready to reengage in the normalization process.”

U.S. and France rushed to welcome Sargsyan’s decision, singling out the point about not withdrawing Armenia’s signature from the process, indicating that’s what the Armenian President’s message was really about. Furthermore, one year after Armenia signed the normalization ‘roadmap‘ with Turkey and gave U.S. President Barack Obama the opportunity to avoid calling massacres of Armenians Genocide in 1915 Ottoman Empires, President Sargsyan has done it again. That’s what I call ‘sovereign state’ and ‘independent foreign policy’ in brackets!

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