Davutoglu Will Not Visit Genocide Memorial, Sources Say


Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers Eduard Nalbandian and Ahmet
Davutoglu sign dangerous protcols in Geneva in 2009

Ankara begins to backpedal on normalization talks during Davutoglu’s

ANKARA/YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Ankara officially announced that
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had not plans to visit the
Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex while visiting Yerevan on Thursday,
reported Hurriyet Daily News.

On Saturday, Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan told
Armenpress news agency that instead of making “provocative statements”
regarding regional issues, Davutoglu should visit Dzidzernagapert
Memorial Monument and pay respect to the victims of the Armenian

“The minister is going to Yerevan within the framework of a BSEC
meeting. Visiting the monument is not on his agenda,” a senior Turkish
diplomat told Hurriyet Daily News.

Turkish press reported that Davutoglu was going to Armenia with a
message to normalize ties with its neighbor, however preconditioning
that Armenia “cede” at least two of the so-called “occupied
territories” in reference to liberated regions around Artsakh.

On Tuesday however, the Turkish government and media were singing a
difference tune.

Hurriyet Daily News reported that officials in Ankara have cautioned
against high expectations for Davutoglu’s visit to Armenia, but
indicated that there was a chance for “normalization” to follow in
the future.

The Dec. 12 visit will take place on the occasion of a meeting of
the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.

Turkish officials, speaking to the Hurriyet Daily News, said it
was still not clear whether Davutoglu and his Armenian counterpart,
Edward Nalbandian, would hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines
of the BSEC gathering.

“We are not going there with a specific proposal,” a senior Turkish
diplomat told the Daily News, in an apparent reference to several
news reports in the Turkish media suggesting that Turkey would offer
a proposal to the Armenian side in exchange for reopening the border.

“Furthermore, such a proposal would also be premature and wrong,”
added the diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“However, if such a bilateral meeting takes place, we will explain
our vision with regard to regional peace, including normalization of
our bilateral relations. Then, the steps that could be taken may come
on the scene,” he said.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Political Affairs Director Giro
Manoyan told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on Tuesday that Davutoglu’s
visit to Armenia is merely a ploy by Turkey to create the illusion that
there are advances in Turkey-Armenia normalization before 2015–the
centennial of the Armenian Genocide.

The only way to normalize relations, Manoyan said, “is to ratify the
Protocols, although as a party we are opposed to the documents.”

Manoyan was referencing the US-led effort in 2009, which yielded in
signing of the dangerous Protocols by Armenia and Turkey. The latter,
however, opted to pre-condition a solution to the Karabakh conflict–in
favor of Azerbaijan–to normalizing relations with Armenia.

Manoyan added that Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has
decided to not attend the BSEC summit because “he has not intention
of showing good intentions and as such he has no need to come [to
Armenia]. However, Davutoglu feels the need to create the false
impression that there is some sort of [normalization] movement.”

“On the occasion of [Davutoglu’s] visit, we should remind Turkey that
it has obligations–lift the blockade of Armenia and recognize the
Armenian Genocide,” Manoyan told RFE/RL.

He also added that a protest was being planned against Davutoglu’s
visit to Armenia by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Nigol
Aghbalian Student Organization. The protest is scheduled to take place
in front of the Armenia Marriott Hotel, where the BSEC meeting will
be held.


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