Vartan Oskanian On The Letter By Former Secretaries Of State


Lragir, Armenia
Sept 28 2007

Statement by Vartan Oskanian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the
Republic of Armenia on the Letter by Former Secretaries of State to
US Speaker of the House Pelosi on House Resolution 106.

It is with dismay that I read the content of the letter signed by
former US Secretaries of State urging Speaker of the House Nancy
Pelosi to derail H. Res. 106.

It is quite unfortunate that eight experienced diplomats would buy
into Turkish manipulation. There is much to disagree with in that
letter, especially about the purported dangers of such a resolution.

I will only address the insincere claim that such a resolution would
"damage efforts to promote reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey."

I regret to say that there is no process in place to promote
normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey. Expressing
concern about damaging a process that doesn’t exist is disingenuous.

Armenia has always been ready to have normal relations with its
neighbor. Yet, every initiative that would lead toward normalization
has been rejected by Turkey. Instead, it continues to place
pre-conditions. Turkey makes offers that are simply invitations for
open-ended talk, without serious commitment to arriving at minimal,
ordinary relations between neighbors. Even their call for a historical
commission to discuss painful, historic events is not serious, given
their prohibitive penal consequences for open speech and discussion
and the adversarial environment Turkey has created by maintaining
closed borders with Armenia.