‘Genocide’ Must Be Left To Historians, Says Hayrapetyan


Today’s Zaman
March 4 2010

The so-called Armenian genocide issue should be left to historians;
the most important thing is Turkish-Armenian friendship, Armenian
Football Federation (AFF) President Ruben Hayrapetyan told Today’s
Zaman while watching the training in Antalya of the Armenian national
soccer team, which was preparing for a match with Belarus.

While the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs will vote on the
alleged Armenian genocide resolution today, the head of the AFF
delivered a message of friendship. "We will continue to live in a
friendly environment together just like we did in the past. There’s
no other way," Hayrapetyan stressed.

The 2010 World Cup qualifying matches between Armenia and Turkey on
Sept. 6, 2008 and Oct. 14, 2009 were watched by the presidents of
the two countries, and this soccer diplomacy has started to bear fruit.

Noting that they came to Turkey as Belarus had invited them to
participate in a soccer match, Hayrapetyan said they did not have any
security concerns while in Turkey. Stating that they had not taken
any measures in terms of security, the official said, "Everything is
normal so far."

"This is not the first time we’ve come here. Our teams always prefer
Antalya. That’s why we have no problems regarding security here,"
Hayrapetyan said.

While stressing that he is not a politician, when asked about
relations between Turkey and Armenia, Haryapetyan said he is hopeful
that as neighbors the two countries will be able to accommodate each
other. "God created us as neighbors, and we cannot change this. We
will live together peacefully in the future just as we did in the
past," Haryapetyan noted.

Recommending how to end tensions between the two countries, Haryapetyan
said history should be left to the historians, while adding that
bilateral relations are the job of politicians.