Armenia may declare protocols on normalising relations with Turkey “null and void” UN told

By bne IntelliNews September 20, 2017

Addressing the UN General Assembly, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian on September 19 warned that Yerevan may be set to declare two protocols aimed at normalising relations with Turkey "null and void".

The Armenians want to see progress from Ankara in the implementation of the protocols signed by the Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers in Zurich in October 2009. They aim to establish diplomatic relations between Ankara and Yerevan and reopen the Armenian-Turkish border. The Turks and Armenians have for more than a century been at odds over the mass killing of 1.5mn Turkish-citizen Armenians by the Ottoman government during and after WWI. Armenia wants the world to recognise it as a genocide, while Turkey repudiates the use of that word.

"The leadership of Turkey are mistaken if they think that those documents can be held hostage for ever and ratified only at the most opportune occasion from their very point of view," Sarkisian said at the UN General Assembly in New York on September 19.

Both the Turkish and Armenian parliaments have in fact not ratified the protocols, with Yerevan accusing Ankara of linking ratification of the protocols to the settlement of the longstanding Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between the Armenians and Azerbaijanis.

For its part, Turkey claims Armenia's Constitutional Court made a ruling with preconditions and restrictive provisions that mar the letter and spirit of the documents.

Sarkisian refuted the Turkish accusation in his speech, adding: "We will enter the spring of 2018 without those, as our experience has demonstrated, futile protocols." 

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