President of Armenia, President of the National Security Council (NSC) Serzh Sargsyan convened NSC meeting on March 1.
In the sidelines of the meeting the issue of the Armenian-Turkish protocols signed in Zurich in 2009 was discussed. Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian reported on the issue.
At the beginning of the session President Sargsyan briefly referred to his initiative aimed at creating a region with safe and peaceful future – the normalization process between Armenia and Turkey without any preconditions and the developments following it. President Sargsyan particularly presented Armenia’s efforts aimed at moving forward the normalization process following the signing of the Zurich protocols and the contrary steps of Turkey – the absence of any positive move by Turkey in the direction of implementing its international commitments.
Serzh Sargsyan reminded that Armenia has announced numerous times in case Turkey does not change its policy on this issue Armenia will declare the Zurich protocols null and void and will enter the spring of 2018 without them.
You remember when I initiated the normalization process between Armenia and Turkey without any preconditions with the consent of all of you, I was guided by the vision of creating a safe and peaceful future for the region. Armenia did its best not to leave the burden of the normalization of the relations of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey on the future generations. Our desire was that we should bear that burden, complete the process in order not to leave it on their shoulders. But during the 9 years following the signing of the protocols Turkey always returned to its ungrounded preconditions and not only did not make any step to ratify the protocols and enter them into force, but left no doubts that it has no intentions to do that. In September 2017 I announced at the UN General Assembly that if Turkey does not properly implement the ratification process of the protocols, we will start the spring with those protocols declared null and void. Now it’s time to make the decision and it’s our today’s topic of discussion. I give the floor to the Minister of Foreign Ministers so as he once again refers to the issue in detail”, President Serzh Sargsyan said, adding that he knew very well back in 2009 that his initiative might not be approved by all the public layers, but anyway, he made that step comprehending its importance.
Following the report of the Foreign Minister, the members of the NSC presented their views on the issue, noting that neighboring Turkey did not grasp the historical opportunity. Moreover, by bringing forward its preconditions, it not only did not contribute to the Armenian-Turkish normalization process, but also created more complications in Nagorno Karabakh peace process. The NSC members emphasized that in the given situation Armenia has no alternative but to terminate the protocol ratification process.
Based on the results of the discussion, the National Security Council of Armenia unanimously approved to terminate the process of conclusion of the “Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey” and “Protocol on development of relations between of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey” signed on October 10, 2009 in Zurich.
“Taking into account our consent over this issue, I will sign a decree after this meeting on the termination of the ratification process. I ask the Foreign Minister to notify Turkey of this decision, after which any obligation we have assumed in the sidelines of this agreement will have no legal force”, President Sargsyan said, adding that he has also informed all the sides who were present at the protocol signing ceremony about Armenia’s approaches, thanking them for their support.