Statement on Armenian-Turkish Relations

The Bureau of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun held a special plenary session in Yerevan on September 9-10.

The main issues on the agenda were the complicated military and political situation created in the region and Armenian-Turkish relations.

After thoroughly discussing the internal and external challenges facing Armenia, the plenary session of the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Bureau considered it necessary to draw the public’s attention to several of the ARF’s fundamental positions regarding Armenian-Turkish interstate relations.

a) Armenia and Turkey, as neighboring states, must work toward the normalization of bilateral relations. However, we are convinced that good neighborly relations can only be established after the recognition by Turkey of the Armenian Genocide and the restoration of the rights of the Armenian people. The unconditional lifting of the blockade and the establishment of diplomatic relations can only serve as first steps on this path.

b) The initiative of the President of the Republic of Armenia and the subsequent meetings of the Presidents and Ministers of Foreign Affairs must be followed by concrete positive steps by Turkey. The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun will actively strive to ensure that official meetings do not become merely propaganda opportunities for Turkey.

c) It is totally unacceptable for the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun that Armenian-Turkish relations be normalized at the expense of Armenia’s sovereignty, viability of its existence, or the national and state rights of future Armenian generations.

d) Turkey can aspire to promote regional initiatives if it radically changes its “Armenian policy.” Turkey must not be party in the Artsakh conflict; it should not talk to Armenia with preconditions, and must relinquish its policy of deepening the divisions in the South Caucasus, of blockading and isolating Armenia.

e) Since 1998 Armenia is pursuing a foreign policy based on national-state ideology, one strategic direction of which is the universal recognition and condemnation, including by Turkey, of the Armenian Genocide. Armenia views this not only as a restoration of historical justice, but also as a way to improve the overall situation and mutual trust in the region, thus preventing similar crimes in the future.

The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun has considered and considers the continuation of this direction one of its fundamental tasks.

ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Press Office
Yerevan, 10 September 2008