In the last several months there has been a softening of Turkish-Armenian relations, and the pace of these developments has gained momentum. TurkishPAC has followed these developments with great interest. All indications to date are that the Turkish Government, under external pressure, is seriously considering opening the Armenia-Turkey border toward normalization of relations between the two countries. Armenia, on the other hand, while viewing such normalization very favorably, appears to make no concessions in return.
Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian has stated that normalization of relations between the two states should have no preconditions, and that Turkey and Armenia has a mutual understanding to that end.
TurkishPAC firmly opposes normalization of the Turkish-Armenian relations without preconditions. It believes that normalization should depend on Armenia's agreeing to certain conditions. In particular, Armenia should:
1. Comply with the UN resolution to withdraw from the Azerbaijani territory of Nagorno-Karabagh, which it illegally occupies,
2. Drop false “genocide” claims against Turkey that go back almost 100 years and agree to the establishment of a joint committee of historians, as proposed by Turkey, to study and judge the 1915 events. As Turkey has declared it would do so, Armenia should declare that it would consider the findings of such a committee binding.
3. Withdraw its support to the Armenian Diaspora on the latter’s campaign to disseminate “genocide” propaganda, and,
4. Remove indirect reference to a Greater Armenia in its Constitution by amending Article 13 of Chapter 1 that describes its national coat of arms.
With regard to items 3 and 4, note should also be made that in its Declaration of Independence in 1990, Armenia declared its support to false “genocide” claims against Turkey and has referred to Eastern Anatolia as “Western Armenia,” and as such, considers this area as part of Armenia. That is not a friendly posture toward a neighbor.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, disturbed by Turkey’s recent moves, has refused to attend the UN Alliance of Civilizations held in Istanbul recently. TurkishPAC applauds Aliyev’s principled stand. Azerbaijani and Turkish people are two brotherly nations, and Turkey should fully respect Azerbaijani people’s sensitivities.
TurkishPAC has viewed with apprehension press reports that the Turkish Government’s recent gestures toward Armenia without any preconditions is an attempt to forestall the passage of Armenian “genocide” resolution in the US Congress and discourage President Obama from using the word “genocide” on April 24. TurkishPAC firmly believes that the merits of Armenian “genocide” allegations should be judged by historians according to historical facts, not by politicians driven by ethnic interests. Turkish-American relations should not be held hostage to ethnic politics. The value of a strong, lasting Turkish-American partnership is too great to risk by narrow political considerations and gamesmanship.
TurkishPAC Board of Directors