FM to attend Erdogan’s inauguration, pose questions on Genocide

FM to attend Erdogan’s inauguration, pose questions on Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - Yerevan has received an invitation to the Turkish President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan's inauguration ceremony, Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan said, according to ARKA.

Armenia will probably accept the invitation, with Foreign Minister to attend the ceremony, Sargsyan said Sunday, August 24 at a meeting with participants of Together 2014 educational youth forum. Ergodan’s inauguration is scheduled for Thursday.

The President also said Armenia’s foreign minister Edward Nalbandian will ask Erdogan whether he plans to visit Tsitsernakaberd Genocide Memorial in Yerevan on the centenary of the tragedy.

Sargsyan found it difficult to answer when the Armenia-Turkish border will be opened. “Armenia’s wish is to have it opened as soon as possible,” the President said.

An Armenia-Turkish reconciliation was initiated by Armenian President in autumn 2008. On October 10, 2009, the two foreign ministers signed a protocol on establishing diplomatic relations in Zurich to be ratified by the countries’ parliaments. On April 22, 2010 Armenia’s president Sargsyan suspended the ratification process after ratification was frozen by Turkey’s parliament.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, majority of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canada, Polish Sejm, Vatican, European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

The Armenian-Turkish Protocols

The Protocols aimed at normalization of bilateral ties and opening of the border between Armenia and Turkey were signed in Zurich by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on October 10, 2009, after a series of diplomatic talks held through Swiss mediation.

On January 12, 2010, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia found the protocols conformable to the country’s Organic Law.

Commenting on the CC ruling, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “it contains preconditions and restrictive provisions which impair the letter and spirit of the Protocols.” ”The decision undermines the very reason for negotiating these Protocols as well as their fundamental objective. This approach cannot be accepted on our part. Turkey, in line with its accustomed allegiance to its international commitments, maintains its adherence to the primary provisions of these Protocols. We expect the same allegiance from the Armenian government,” the Ministry said.

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