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Armenia to nullify Zurich Protocols in spring 2018 unless Turkey complies


Serzh Sargsyan
Serzh Sargsyan

Photo: REUTERS


Yerevan /Mediamax/. President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan delivered a speech at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly on September 19 in New York.

Mediamax offers several excerpts from the President’s speech.

On Armenophobia in Azerbaijan

In the course of the military offensive unleashed in 2016, the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan committed a number of war crimes against civilian population and the prisoners of war. Here I am compelled to mention that a serviceman who committed such atrocities has been decorated with a high state award, and the President of Azerbaijan personally decorated him in front of the cameras.

It has been for years that hate speech and Armenophobia was made part and parcel of the Azerbaijan’s state policy. It has taken deep root in the school curricula, intoxicating the younger generation.

Photo: Press service of the Armenian President


Everyone should be aware that for the democratically developing Artsakh Azerbaijan simply symbolizes medieval backwardness.

Artsakh should not have liberty that might be inferior to the one it enjoys today

We strongly believe that there is no alternative to the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Meanwhile, everyone should be aware that the Nagorno Karabakh issue is a human rights issue. It can be resolved exclusively through one of the fundamental and inalienable human rights – the people’s right to self-determination.

Whatever option for the conflict resolution we arrive at, the Republic of Artsakh should not enjoy a status and liberty that might be inferior to the one it enjoys today. Azerbaijan shall recognize and respect the right of the people of Artsakh to decide its own future through a free expression of will. All available international and domestic mechanisms should guarantee the security of the Armenian population of Artsakh.

Photo: Press service of the Armenian President


All remaining issues are collateral. All remaining issues will find their logical and fair solution in parallel to the general resolution process.

On unratified Armenian-Turkish protocols

We have never made the recognition of the Armenian Genocide a precondition for the normalization of the bilateral relations between Armenia and Turkey. Moreover, it was upon the initiative of Armenia that a normalization process was launched, resulting in the conclusion of the Zürich protocols in October 2009.

Up to this day, those documents have not been ratified, instead, they have landed in some dark drawers of the official Ankara. The Government of Turkey came up with preposterous preconditions for their ratification that run counter to the letter and spirit of the Protocols. I expressed the clear-cut views of the Armenian people on this issue three years ago, when I spoke from this eminent podium.

Photo: Press service of the Armenian President


Now the time has come for additional explanations. The leadership of Turkey are mistaken if they think that those documents can be held hostage forever and ratified only at the most opportune occasion from their very point of view.

Armenia will declare those two Protocols null and void since they continuously lacked any positive progress towards their implementation. We will enter the spring of 2018 without those, as our experience has demonstrated, futile Protocols.

Armenia, nevertheless, continues to believe that any two neighboring states need to establish and enjoy normal relations in order to address all possible disagreements between them and find solutions to such a discord.

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