By Sara Khojoyan
Armenians wish they could commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide together with the Turkish people, thereby heralding a new stage of rapprochement of the two nations, and they are also concerned by the fact that Russia is selling weapons to Azerbaijan, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan spoke about these and other subjects on Wednesday. report ArmeniaNow
The president addressed the relations with two Armenian neighbors at a media forum called “At the Foot of Mount Ararat” that was attended by more than a hundred reporters from more than 30 countries.
“Unfortunately, once more we encountered denial, one that acquired a particular manifestation this year,” the president said, referring to the invitation sent to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“The Turkish policy of denial pursued not only vindicates the crime committed by the Ottoman authorities – the dispossession of Armenians – but also sets a dangerous precedent for the recurrence of new genocides,” the president said, emphasizing the fact that larger and larger segments of the Turkish intelligentsia and progressive youth are demonstrating courage to confront their historical past.
And although, according to President Sargsyan, the current Turkish government rules out the possibility of implementing the 2009 Protocols, for that very reason he decided to recall them from the parliament last February. This does not mean that they are closing ‘the window for rapprochement with Turkey’.
“I did not kill those protocols. It was political, not a legislative act,” the president said, explaining that otherwise he would have to withdraw signatures from the Protocol, and not to recall it from the National Assembly.
“This way I wanted to once again attract the attention of the Turkish government to this fact, as well as the attention of the leaders and officials of those states, which believed that if we try to establish relations with Turkey without preconditions, then the Turkish side would go for it,” Sargsyan said.
The Armenian leader names Azerbaijani-Turkish relations as the biggest cause for the failure of the process of ratification of the Protocols. “I am sure that if not for the Azerbaijani factor the protocols would have been ratified by now.”
Nevertheless, Sargsyan once again highlighted the fact that Armenians do not have enemy nations, emphasizing that in contrast to Azerbaijan, the Armenian government does not incite hostility and hatred among the Armenian people.
“Regardless of Azerbaijan’s threats and provocations, the wheel of history is impossible to roll back: the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is already a well-established reality,” the Armenian president said, reminding foreign journalists that the Armenian position on the settlement of the conflict remains the same: it must be settled within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group, through peaceful negotiations.
Answering journalists’ questions the president addressed the fact of Russia selling weapons to Azerbaijan emphasizing that the question bothers Armenia.
“And here, the matter is not even about the quality of arms. The problem is that an Armenian fellow standing on our border or on the line of contact realizes that they try to destroy him with Russian weapons. This is the hardest thing, and this is what might have a negative influence on our relations. This, certainly, is a problem, and it must be solved.”