Governments of Armenia, Turkey Announce Their ‘Roadmap’ for Peace


YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — On April 22, the governments of Armenia and Turkey, under the auspices of the Swiss government, announced that they had agreed on a “roadmap” for peace.

The statement read: “With the mediation of Switzerland, Turkey and Armenia have worked intensively with a view of normalizing the bilateral relations and developing those in the spirit of goodneighborliness and mutual respect, thus promoting peace, stability and security in the whole region. The parties have achieved tangible progress and mutual understanding in this process. They have come to the agreement on the comprehensive framework of normalization of relations in a mutually satisfactory manner. A roadmap has been determined in this context.

These agreed bases create positive perspectives for the continuation of the
process.”

Reaction was mixed. Internationally, the Armenian government received praise about the agreement. Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian met with assistant NATO secretary general, Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero.

Bisogniero said he is pleased with the progress registered in the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations, pointing out that NATO welcomes the steps directed towards establishment of relations between Armenia and Turkey.

The United States welcomed the joint statement by noting that “it has long been and remains the position of the United States that normalization should take place without preconditions and within a reasonable timeframe.”

The French government also praised the statement. “France warmly greets the joint statement of Armenia, Turkey and Switzerland on working out a road map of normalization of relations between Yerevan and Ankara. France hopes that new round of the work undertaken by its two friend countries – Armenia and Turkey will give an opportunity to show the world that reconciliation may happen through dialogue,” spokesperson for the French Foreign Ministry and European Affairs Ministry stated.

Domestically, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), President Serge Sargisian’s partner in the coalition government, expressed its displeasure with the move and quit the government. At a press conference on April 27, Armen Rustamian, the highest-ranking member of the party in Armenia suggested that “the adoption of a joint statement on the eve of April 24 by Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers within the context of anti-Armenian preconditions of Turkish authorities.”

“We have always been sure that one of the directions of country’s national security strategy is the general recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, particularly by Turkey. This has been regarded not only within the context of restoration of historical justice but also within the improvement of the atmosphere of mutual trust in the region and prevention of such crimes in the future,” the ARF’s April 27 statement says.

Rustamian said on Saturday party representatives met with Sargisian, who noted that he will continue the present political line of development of relations between Armenia and Turkey and at the same time assured them that he will not allow conditioning the Armenian- Turkish relations by the regulation of Nagorno Karabagh issue nor will the process of recognition of the Armenian Genocide be speculated.

Sargisian has denied the five points of the “roadmap” which are in circulation in the Turkish press.

In an interview with Armenpress, Nalbandian said Armenia is not going to accept preconditions on sensitive issues from Turkey. “When we say normalization of relations without preconditions, we mean that there are no preconditions connected with the Nagorno Karabagh conflict regulation and no preconditions on recognition of the Genocide and the normalization of relations does not put under question the fact of the Genocide and the president of the country, foreign minister have many times stated about it. You know, I hope that when we improve, normalize our relations, not only leadership of our country will put flowers in Tsitsernakaberd but the Turkish leadership will join us. Why cannot we do what Charles de Gaulle and [former German Chancellor Konrad] Adenauer did? I am sure that such a day will come and Armenian and Turkish leaderships will make that step.”

The Armenian Assembly of America released the following statement: “I commend the leadership of President Serge Sargisian and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian in taking bold steps that led to this promising juncture in Armenian-Turkish relations,” stated Armenian Assembly Chairman Hirair Hovnanian. “This process was not easy and undoubtedly there will be more hard work in the days and months ahead. We stand with those who are working to secure a solid foundation for the future of Armenia and for stability in the region.”

No details have been released as of press time regarding the agreement.