Armenian Opposition Official Gives Details Of Alleged Agreement With


April 4 2009

Yesterday David Shahnazaryan, representative of the Armenian National
Congress (ANC), stated that the text of an agreement related to the
opening of the Armenian-Turkish border had been agreed and that it
would be signed at a convenient moment. He said that provisions
of the agreement were known: opening of the borders; recognition
of internationally accepted borders; establishment of diplomatic
relations; and creation of intergovernmental commissions, among
them a commission of historians. Shahnazaryan was convinced if the
last point had been included into the agreement, de-facto it became
a precondition for the establishment of diplomatic relations and
opening of the borders.

The representative of the congress also suggested that the Nagornyy
Karabakh settlement had not been included as a formal precondition
because Turkey wanted to win some time before 24 April [the day
of commemoration of killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in
1915]. After US President [Barack] Obama, quite probably, does not
pronounce the word genocide, Turkey will become more active in the
resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Shahnazaryan also noted that
Turkey had serious ambitions to become one of the co-chairs of the
OSCE Minsk Group [which mediates a solution to the Nagornyy Karabakh
conflict]. Moreover, some American experts advised the US president to
negotiate this issue with France. Although, as the ANC representative
observed, the United States is more interested in the opening of the
borders than in the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

Yesterday Shahnazaryan also commented on the forthcoming election
of the Yerevan council of elders stating that for the ANC the
election was a means to combat organized crime and that [former
President and currently opposition leader] Levon Ter-Petrosyan would
struggle not against a concrete person, say [Armenian President] Serzh
Sargsyan or [Yerevan Mayor] Gagik Beglaryan, but against our enemy –
violence, fraud and distortion. He firmly confirmed the opposition’s
viewpoint that revolution was good in science and culture but never
in politics. Shahnazaryan said he did not doubt that the PanArmenian
movement would make the authorities go for early presidential and
parliamentary elections rather than revolution.

Paying no attention to the results of sociological surveys, the ANC
member announced that their list of candidates would win 75-80 per
cent of votes in the forthcoming elections.

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