Armenia’s stance on Turkish borders is to avoid a dead-end -


Armenia’s stance on Turkish borders is to avoid a dead-end

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Yerevan /Mediamax/. Armenian Foreign Ministry disseminated the transcript of the interview of Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan to the anchor of Kentron TV Petros Ghazaryan.

Below we present an excerpt from the transcript on Armenia’s recognition of Turkey’s borders:


[…Anchor: When we signed the Protocols which read that we recognized the borders of modern Turkey…


Shavarsh Kocharyan: There is not such thing in the Protocols.


Anchor: And we accept the Declaration… We recognize Turkey…

Shavarsh Kocharyan: It is written -in accord with the documents of international law.


Anchor: Yes, borders of modern Turkey.


Shavarsh Kocharyan: In accord with the documents of international law: Under which agreement?


Anchor: Here we recall Treaty of Sevres, Turkey’s claims and Woodrow Wilson. Agree with me that they contradict each other.


Shavarsh Kocharyan: If the Protocol endorses- under the documents of international law- which document of international law endorses that?


Anchor: Borders outlined by the UN Charter.


Shavarsh Kocharyan: The UN Charter has never concerned any border including the borders in our region, Armenia-Turkey borders or Armenia-Azerbaijan ones or others. You can also recall Kars Treaty. But there is no mention of Treaty of Kars on the Protocols. And it’s not by mere chance. It was really Turkey’s dream during the talks.


Anchor: So, doesn’t Armenia currently recognize Turkey’s borders?


Shavarsh Kocharyan: They dreamed that Treaty of Kars be mentioned in the Protocols but that didn’t happened, and this is what matters. There are 2 different approaches - interpretation of Armenians and interpretation of many political forces in Turkey. Regarding this issue, people in our country say that by signing the Protocols, we in fact recognize the current borders. Now I’ll give you an opposite approach adopted by the Turkish National Assembly when current PM Ahmet Davutoglu who was then Foreign Minister of Turkey, was presenting the Protocols in the parliament. Leader of one of the Turkish parties Deniz Baykal stated directly that the Turkish side didn’t endorse the current border and the Protocols didn’t refer to Treaty of Kars. Thus the issue of borders remained open to question.


Their criticism was based on this. That’s why it is the case when we don’t need any clarifications to move forward: each side has his own approach.


What is the process aimed at? This is the problem. If the goal is to clarify the issues after which it won’t be possible to speak about normalization, we could have adopted the path. However, originally our goal and the approach of the Armenian side and President were quite different: despite all the discords, disputes and tough past, we are destined to live side by side, we need to try to normalize the relations sincerely and step-by-step


Anchor: Anyways, you didn’t answer my question, Mr. Kocharyan.


Shavarsh Kocharyan: I am answering.


Anchor: Does Armenia recognize Turkey’s borders or not?


Shavarsh Kocharyan: I did answer very clearly. If one is willing to rule out settlement, any issue can be stalled, and there won’t be any progress in this case. Now I reiterate and state that our goal was to try to move forward in normalization without preconditions, despite various comments, discords and tough past.


Anchor: Does Armenia recognize Turkey’s borders or not?


Shavarsh Kocharyan: What to do think?


Anchor: I don’t know. You are an official, and I’m a journalist. My notions are not essential.


Shavarsh Kocharyan: Before recognition, we need to establish diplomatic relations. Till there are no diplomatic relations, it’s no use talking about the border.


Anchor: That means- do we recognize?


Shavarsh Kocharyan: If there are no diplomatic relations, we can’t talk about it.


Anchor: Many countries don’t have diplomatic ties but it is not a mandatory condition.


Shavarsh Kocharyan:  So, let’s start again. There were two Protocols, one concerning the diplomatic relations, and the second - normalization of relations. The Protocol “On Establishment of Diplomatic Relations” should have concerned the borders and it mentioned the following: recognition of borders in accord with the documents of international law.


Anchor: We started talking about the Declaration. I am reading the Declaration dedicated to the Armenian Genocide Centennial. It mentions the Treaty of Sevres, Woodrow Wilson and Turkey's claims. I want to figure out the following: doesn't our state recognize Turkey's territorial integrity and advances topics envisaged by the Treaty of Sevres and Wilson's Arbitral Decision, or is it a moral issue after all?


Shavarsh Kocharyan: Our state's stances are clearly presented in the Protocols- no more, no less. Protocols are for us to move forward. That's it.


Anchor: I'm not talking about moving forward. You mean do we not have a stance on this issue?


Shavarsh Kocharyan: We have a very clear position.


Anchor: Do we recognize Turkey's territorial integrity?


Shavarsh Kocharyan: We can't talk about recognition till there are no diplomatic ties. If we set diplomatic ties, under the Protocols, we will have...


Anchor: So, we don't have a position, do we?


Shavarsh Kocharyan: We do have, and it's mentioned in the Protocols.


Anchor: If there is, do we recognize it or no?


Shavarsh Kocharyan: I'll repeat it. We do recognize what is written in the Protocols, in accord with the current documents of international law. That's it. Nothing more. Deniz Baykal is also trying to get a commentary from anyone in just the same way. Let him try to understand. I won't waive the goal we have set and we sincerely strive to reach.


Anchor: Mr. Kocharyan, I think I am trying to understand a very simple thing.


Shavarsh Kocharyan:  I see. Any question can be voiced in a very simple way and lead to the understanding that we will advance preconditions to establish relations with Turkey. We don't support it. That's why I let myself speak the language of preconditions. We have never done it. During this process, Turkey always spoke the language of preconditions, and we were always sincere that's why we had an agreement - to move forward without preconditions. We were committed to it. And we will be committed until the prospect is lost for good...]


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