STATEMENT on the Normalization of Armenian-Turkish Relations

The pivotal issue on Armenia’s political and state agenda in recent months has been the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations.

The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun has declared time and again, that good-neighborly relations between the two countries can only be established after the recognition by Turkey of the Armenian Genocide and the restoration of the rights of the Armenian people. The lifting of the blockade and the establishment of diplomatic relations, without preconditions, can only serve as first steps on this path. It is absolutely unacceptable for us that relations with Turkey be normalized at the expense of Armenia’s sovereignty, the viability of its existence, or the national and state rights of future Armenian generations.

Deeply committed to these principles, we find unacceptable and condemn the signing, by Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the April 22 joint statement with Turkey.

The statement comes on the eve of the commemoration, on April 24, of the greatest tragedy of the Armenian people. The leaders of Turkey have recently made anti-Armenian announcements in general and on the Artsakh issue in particular, and have restated preconditions for the normalization of relations. The release of the statement at this time and in these circumstances is a blow to the interests of Armenia and the Armenian people.

Noting that this process implies a negative change in the direction of Armenia’s foreign policy, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun will, in the coming days, discuss the expediency of its continued participation in the governing coalition.

23 April 2009