Ter-Petrossian: `Turkey is Not Going to Open the Border Until…

Tert, Armenia
Sept 19 2009

Ter-Petrossian: `Turkey is Not Going to Open the Border Until¦.’
13:10 ¢ 19.09.09

During the September 18 rally, Armenian National Congress (HAK) Leader
Levon Ter-Petrossian, in his speech, stated that everything is clear
for him in Armenian-Turkish relations.

`Extorting from Serzh Sargsyan the agreement to create a commission of
Armenian and Turkish historians, Turkey has managed to skillfully
prevent the risk of Armenian Genocide recognition (made on behalf of
the U.S.) and to delay opening the border until the settlement of the
Nagorno-Karabakh issue or at least till significant progress is made
in that process. Thereby, until the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh
issue, Armenia has nothing to do in terms of Turkey and is doomed to
take on a passive role,’ Levon Ter-Petrossian stated.

He said the most important topic discussed in our country currently
has become whether Serzh Sargsyan should visit Turkey within the
context of `Football Diplomacy’ or not.

`Serzh Sargsyan’s going or not going to Turkey no longer has any
significance, since he has already made every mistake he could in
terms of Armenian-Turkish relations, particularly by placing the fact
of the Armenian Genocide in doubt and subjecting it to
bargaining. Therefore, whether he goes or not, it is not possible to
correct the situation. As you know, recently Serzh Sargyan sharply
announced that he will visit Turkey only on one condition: that is, if
the border is open by then. This statement, which seems to be an
ultimatum, reveals two facts. First, on April 22, in exchange for
signing the `Road Map,’ Turkey promised Serzh Sargsyan they would open
the border. Second, that Sargsyan is offended by the Turkish
government for not keeping their promise. However, one cannot consider
that statement an ultimatum, since Sargsyan has considered it
necessary to immediately include in his statements that he is also
ready to visit Turkey if we are on the threshold of opening the
border. Making this addition, voluntarily or involuntarily, he gives
away that he has already decided to leave for Turkey, since the word
`threshold’ is so expansive, one can understand whatever one wants
from it,’ the opposition leader stated.

Levon Ter-Petrossian asked why, however, Sargsyan was offended by the
Turkish government.

`Because they tricked you? You shouldn’t have let them trick
you. Isn’t it clear if not in human relations, then in policy, the one
to blame is the one who has allowed others to cheat him, and not the
cheater, however inadmissible it may be from a moral point of view?
So, if you were cheated, you must, in the first place, be offended by
yourself. Or, if Turkey has actually violated agreements, then be so
brave as to state it openly and make corrections to your policy. In
any case, these are just rhetoric questions and statements, since,
Serzh Sargsyan will visit Turkey all the same, whether he wants to or
not: First, because he will not be allowed to act otherwise, and
second, because he cannot obstruct `Football Diplomacy,’ since it was
his initiative. In case he doesn’t go, which is unlikely, Sargsyan
will do more harm to our country, and he will place himself in a more
humiliating and ridiculous situation. As to the Armenian-Turkish
Protocols announced on August 31, I consider the Armenian National
Congress’s official assessment (familiar to you) to be sufficient for
now, and I’m not excluding that I will return to them [the Protocols]
on another occasion and speak in more detail,’ said the Republic of
Armenia’s first president.

Ter-Petrossian said, at this time, he would like to stress only the

`Even with Serzh Sargsyan sacrificing the Genocide, Turkey is not
going to ratify the protocols and is not going to open the border with
Armenia until the Karabakh issue is resolved. As for HAK’s¦
complaints, I am forced to recall that around all of that, around
which today the remaining political bodies are shouting, we have sound
the alarm on numerous occasions over the past two years, but no one
has paid attention to our calls. We stated our words at one time, not
waiting, like the others, to stand before the final outcome, in order
to make an uproar afterwards. Who needs a delayed uproar when it is
nearly possible to influence the process? I have a big fear, that
contrary to HAK’s consistent uproars, the same thing is going to
happen in Karabakh’s case: one day they are going to wake up, see that
everything is signed and finished, and begin grieving.’


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