Ankara: Armenian-Americans Protest Serzh Sarksyan In LA


06 October 2009, Tuesday

Nearly 12,000 Armenian-Americans protested Armenian-Turkish
protocols upon Armenian President Sarksyan’s arrival in California
on Sunday. Photo

More than 12,000 Armenian-Americans from throughout California
converged in Beverly Hills on Sunday to stage a protest against
visiting Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan and to show their
disappointment over an agreement between Ankara and Yerevan to
establish diplomatic ties and reopen their common border.

Blockades and guardrails contained the protesters, who held signs
proclaiming, "Serzh Don’t Betray the Armenian People," "Turkey Accept
the Genocide!" and "No to the Protocols!" the Los Angeles-based
English-language Armenian newspaper Asbarez reported. The report
noted that during the protest, planes flew overhead bearing banners
which stated "Stop Turkish-Armenian Protocols," as large moving vans
drove around the hotel with billboards featuring pictures of Armenian
President Sarksyan and Turkish President Abdullah Gul with the slogan
"Don’t Betray us."

Los Angeles was the third leg of Sarksyan’s tour of influential
Armenian communities worldwide as he seeks support for his landmark
bid to establish ties with Turkey. Earlier, he sought support from
the Armenian diaspora in Paris and New York. While in Paris on
Friday, Sarksyan faced violent protests, with demonstrators shouting
"Traitor!" and criticizing his plans to establish ties with Turkey. At
least 200 protesters from the Armenian diaspora in France showed
up at a public appearance in Paris. The protest in Los Angeles was
organized by the "Stop the Protocols Campaign."

Last month, Turkey and Armenia said they would set aside hostilities
and establish diplomatic ties due to practical concerns such as
oil interests, Turkey’s European Union membership bid and relations
with Russia and the United States. Armenians in their poor, isolated
homeland are eager to open up trade and other ties with Turkey, he
vast Armenian diaspora, most of whom are descendants of those who
escaped the killings.

There are two protocols which Armenia and Turkey are to sign in
the upcoming days — a protocol on the establishment of diplomatic
relations and a protocol on the development of bilateral relations.

Particularly subject to the Armenian diaspora’s harsh reaction is the
one of the developments in relations between Armenia and Turkey which
says that the two countries have agreed to "implement a dialogue on
the historical dimension with the aim to restore mutual confidence
between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination
of historical records and archives to define existing problems and
formulate recommendations."

Sarksyan is scheduled to travel to Beirut and Rostov-on-Don in Russia
as part of his tour in order to hold discussions with the Armenian
diaspora ahead of a planned meeting on Oct. 10, when the Turkish and
Armenian foreign ministers are expected to sign a deal to establish
ties. Armenians abroad — estimated at 5.7 million — outnumber the
3.2 million living in Armenia itself, the smallest of the ex-Soviet
republics. The largest communities are in Russia (2 million), the
United States (1.4 million), Georgia (460,000) and France (450,000),
according to government data.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS