‘STOP MAKING WAR AND GET TO WORK’: THE DAILY STAR EDITORIAL
15:14 ~U 15.02.10
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan submitted to the Armenian parliament
Friday two protocols which would open bilateral diplomatic relations
and open the Armenia-Turkey border, reports The Daily Star, an
English-language paper published in Lebanon.
According to The Daily Star, Sargsyan will need all the help he can
get for this initiative. He is going against the prevailing tide in
his own country and among much of the Armenian Diaspora. In a bow
to this resistance, Sargsyan’s government added text to the accords
which should make it easier for Yerevan to walk away from the deal
if Turkey dawdles.
The rest of The Daily Star’s editorial is as follows:
"This surprising and welcoming break from the past should be seen
only through the perspective of the Armenian Genocide; we do not for a
moment deny its horrors, but the massacre has become a mascot for many
other phenomena plaguing Armenia, a club that can be readily brandished
to cast blame or distract attention from a spectrum of problems:
high unemployment, a stagnant economy and a lack of foreign investment.
"Nevertheless, the Armenian president has taken a bold and necessary
step. It is time to move forward; instead of living in the past
and playing the game of blame and victimhood, this region needs
understanding and reconciliation.
"For its part, Armenia has a well of untapped potential, whether
as a passageway for a natural gas pipeline or in its historically
talented populace – Armenians can boast a wealth of chess champions,
world-class musicians and accomplished engineers. And yet the country
lacks stability; it still has a smoldering conflict with neighbouring
Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.
"Certainly, Turkey also stands to benefit from the agreement; yes, we
could also say the Turks are trudging into this deal only to complete
part of their homework for their largely receding hopes for European
"That, however, is a story for another day. The Turkish-Armenian
reconciliation should be acknowledged as an example of the way forward,
of a better alternative to the seething tensions that have bedeviled
this region for almost all of living memory. We need more leaders
willing to stick their necks out to end tensions and conflicts. Amid
the vortex of myriad wars and major shifts in geopolitics and the
world economy, the recipe for a nation’s success in recent decades
remains valid: stop making war and get to work.
"Sargsyan’s brave move might not succeed – the deal still has to be
approved by both countries’ legislatures – but no matter how this
episode ends, the president deserves recognition for helping escape
the cell of the past and moving toward peace and reconciliation."