Ara Papian: Armenian-Turkish Border Determined By Arbitrary Wilson


YEREVAN, MARCH 17, NOYAN TAPAN. Two mutually excluisive viewpoints on
the Sevres Treaty exist in Armenian reality. According to the first,
this document has no legal basis (this viepoint was most widespread in
the Soviet Armenian literature), while according to the second one,
the borders of Turkey and Armenia are determined by the Sevres
Treaty. Ara Papian, former Armenian ambassador to Canada, historian
and diplomat, said this at the March 16 conference "The Sevres Treaty:
Reality or Eternal Dream?" at Yerevan State University. In his
opinion, in essence neither of the viewpoints is correct because the
Armenian-Turkish border is determined by Wilson’s arbitral decision
deriving from the Sevres Treaty. According to Ara Papian, an arbitral
decision is an international decision which has no time limit and is
not subject to cassation.

"This arbitral decision determines de jure the Armenian-Turkish border
and remains so until today, whereas de facto the border is different,"
the speaker noted. Ara Papian said that so far Armenia has not applied
to international courts regarding the issue of the Sevres Treaty
application for a number of reasons: previously Armenia was not an
independent state – only states as subjects of international law may
apply to international courts. After independnce, Armenia had more
important and urgent problems. Besides, there is another simple and
important circumstance: unawareness of Armenian historians about
international law. "The arbitral decision is one that has legal force
for us and the world. I believe that we should pay more attention to
international law and move our struggle to this plane where we are
much stronger," A. Papian stated. Aghasi Yenokian, political
scientist, YSU lecturer, said that today the situation is infavorable
for raising this issue at an international court. In his opinion, now
Armenia is of little interest to other states so that they initiate
"making an angreement signed at one time a reality." On the other
hand, according to him, "there is circumstance to solve de jure the
problem of Nagorno Karabakh and surrounding territories."

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