RoA Former Deputy Defense Minister Opposes Protocols

Inga Martinyan

20 09/10/14 | 14:44


Vahan Shirkhanyan, a member of the Social-Democrat Hnchak Party’s
Central Board and former RoA Deputy Defense Minister, stated at a press
conference today that the party had always been opposed to signing
any protocols with Turkey since it saw dangers looming on the horizon.

"Armenia has had 4 playing cards since independence – the diaspora,
the Genocide, Russian bases and Artsakh. We lose the first three by
these protocols and if they are ratified we will lose Artsakh as well,"
noted Mr. Shirkhanyan.

The historian also argued that the protocols also threatened
Armenian-Iranian relations.

Republican Party MP Hamlet Haroutyunyan didn’t share the views of the
former Armenian deputy defense minister. "Armenia has already solved
its internal problems and must now break-out of the diplomatic blockade
it finds itself in. Establishing relations with Turkey is expressly
directed at this issue. These protocols are in our favour and include
no causes for concern regarding the Genocide or Karabakh. We must be
realistic and accept the fact that if we were to demand that Turkey
recognize the Genocide and Artskah before we establish relations,
Ankara wouldn’t do it in the next 100 years," he argued.

Vahan Shirkhanyan countered by saying that had Armenia not changed its
plicy towards Armenia, Turkey would have taken those steps because
that what was being demanded of it by many nations, the European
Union and President Obama.

Mr. Shirkhanyan asked his Republican Party counterpart what would
Armenia derive from the opening of the border and stated that he
had his suspicions about the protocols since we haven’t seen the
signed copies.

Hamlet Haroutyunyan answered by saying that when two nations establish
diplomatic relations there are mutual benefits involved.

He added that during the term of the first president of the RoA
we scored a victory in Karabakh and that during the presidency of
Kocharyan we saw the internationalization of the Genocide issue. During
the term of the current president we will break free of the diplomatic
blockade we find ourselves in, concluded MP Haroutyunyan.

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