ANC International Criticizes Foreign Minister for Remarks on Turkey

The Armenian National Committee-International on Thursday issued a statement criticizing Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ara Aivazyan, who in remarks on Wednesday said that “Turkey no longer had a reason to keep its borders closed.” The ANC International also voiced concern about the dangers such a policy might pose to the not only the security of Armenia but also the unresolved issues stemming from Turkey’s continued denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Below is a translation of the ANC International statement.

On February 10, 2021, during a question-and-answer session between the National Assembly and the Government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia made statements that caused serious concern to the Central Council of the Armenian Cause.

Specifically, the Minister stated. “Turkey, under pressure from the international community, must gradually return to the normal process. As you are aware, the blockade—the closure of the border—was the result of the Nagorno-Karabakh status quo, which has changed through the use of force. Turkey, therefore, no longer has any reason to keep its border with Armenia closed. At the moment, no process underway, but Armenia and our diplomacy will make active efforts in order for a favorable environment to exist around us for strengthening Armenia’s security. I repeat that the security atmosphere contains many elements.”

From this extremely problematic statements we can make the following assertions:

1. The Government of Armenia is planning to come to terms with the status quo that was created throughout the use of force by the Turkish-Azerbaijani axis against Artsakh that resulted in the occupation of a large part of Artsakh, deportation and ethnic cleansing. In this instance, the Armenian government, is essentially relinquishing its responsibilities as the guarantor of Artsakh’s security.

2. Effectively, the Armenian government believes that there are no other pressing issues in attached to Armenia-Turkey relations than the Karabakh issue. Specifically, there is no reasonable doubt that the Armenian government is going to forget the policy of international recognition of and reparations for the Armenian Genocide, as well as other issues related to the Armenia-Turkey interstate border.

It is not clear how the Armenian government envisions the normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations, when only a few months ago, with the full and overt support of Turkey, a part of our homeland was subjected to aggressive attacks, coupled with war crimes. At the same time, the representative of the Armenian government speaks about the prospects of normalization of relations with Turkey at a time when large-scale Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises are taking place near the Armenian border, which coincide with the statements of high-ranking Turkish and Azerbaijani officials about Armenia’s sovereignty.

Even at time when there have been fundamental disagreements with the Armenian authorities, the ANC International’s worldwide network not only did not retreat from its positions of defending the interests of the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh, but also continued close cooperation with embassies in different countries and Armenian representations within international organizations.

However, the minister’s statement yesterday, threatens to create a serious ideological divide between the network of organizations that function in dozens of countries as conduits of Armenia’s diplomacy, and Armenia’s Foreign Ministry.

The fact of the matter is that Turkey has not given up on the other preconditions it has been advancing for 30 years in regards to establishing diplomatic relations with the Republic of Armenia and the lifting the land blockade that include the process of the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and demanding Armenia to make concessions on the Armenia-Turkey legal border. Turkey maintains its hostile attitude toward Armenia and the Armenian people, which manifested itself with its overt participation in Azerbaijan’s attacks unleashed on Artsakh on September 27, 2020, and the continuous anti-Armenian measures taken by the Turkish authorities inside and outside Turkey. Until Turkey fundamentally changes its anti-Armenian policy, any attempt by Armenia to enter into dialogue with the latter will be used by Turkey to achieve its aforementioned goals. Especially on the eve of the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, it will be an opportunity for Turkey to take advantage of it.

The Armenian government’s criminal ineptitude and its inability to serve the vital interests of Armenia are nothing new for us. We anticipate, however, that Armenia’s Foreign Ministry—one of the government institutions that have not been completely destroyed—will demonstrate the resolve to not give in to Turkey’s deceitful policies. The primary precondition for strengthening the security of Armenia, as well as Artsakh, is a fundamental change in Armenia’s domestic situation, which can begin only with the removal of the person who led the country to defeat and has been clinging to his position as Armenia’s Prime Minister. Only then it will be possible to fathom, plan and act in order to create ‘a favorable atmosphere to strengthen Armenia’s security.”


Comment by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Anna Naghdalyan on the statement of the Central Council of the Armenian National Committee of ARF

11 February, 2021

Today, the ARF Central Council of the Armenian National Committee issued a statement expressing concerns over regional issues, particularly Armenia’s approaches towards Turkey.

First of all, we would like to emphasize that we highly commend the cooperation existing between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and the offices and committees of the Armenian National Committee, which has always been aimed at promoting the pan-Armenian agenda.

The concerns expressed in the statement of the Central Council of the Armenian National Committee of ARF are based on the remarks made by Minister Aivazian during the Q&A session with the Government at the National Assembly of Armenia. These comments or, as they are worded, “affirmations” are taken out of the general context and do not reflect the assessment and approaches of the Republic of Armenia towards Turkey’s involvement in the region.

Armenia has not reconsidered its assessment of Turkey’s destructive involvement in the region, and those concerns were clearly stated during the Q&A session, particularly with regards to the conduct of joint Turkish-Azerbaijani military exercises in the vicinity of  the Armenian border. At the same time, the Foreign Minister of Armenia referred to Turkey’s policy of illegally blockading Armenia, stating that the excuse based on which Turkey has kept its border with Armenia closed for decades does not even exist now.

It should be noted that all the Governments of the Republic of Armenia, as well as leading organizations of the Armenian Diaspora, have always considered the blockade illegal, and have acted from the position of its suspension.

The position of the Republic of Armenia on this issue, as well as the determination to pursue its foreign policy priorities have not changed. We are convinced that Turkey’s direct involvement in the war unleashed by Azerbaijan against the people of Artsakh, the war crimes and other mass crimes committed against the people of Artsakh further empasize the imperative of international recognition and condemnation of the Armenia Genocide for the prevention and non-recurrence of such international crimes.

In this issue, Armenia will continue its close cooperation with the respective organisations of the Armenian Diaspora.

At the same time, we deem it necessary to emphasize that on various occasions the Foreign Minister of Armenia underscored that we will consider not the statements but the actions of Turkey. To this date, these actions have not been constructive.

In this regard, we would like to quote the position of the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia, expressed during the same Q&A session, that “a favorable environment should be created for Armenia, for our diplomacy, for our people, of course, without crossing the red lines and protecting our state and national interests.”