The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF, Dashnaktsutyun) has reaffirmed its opposition to the current process of Armenian-Turkish normalization, which it said contains “serious dangers” for Armenia and therefore must be discontinued.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the ARF Executive Council also reiterated its position that Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian is directly responsible for “diplomatic failures”.
Armenia and Turkey embarked on an unprecedented rapprochement last September after President Serzh Sarkisian invited his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul to attend a World Cup 2010 qualifier between the two national soccer teams in Armenian capital Yerevan.
Armenia declared then it would seek improved relations with Ankara and the reopening of the border that has remained closed since 1993 based on an agreement reached “without any preconditions.”
Armenia and Turkey announced a “roadmap” to normalizing bilateral ties in April, but Sarkisian has been under fire from his political opponents over a lack of tangible results in the process. Furthermore, Turkey has appeared to increasingly link normalization to Armenian concessions in the talks with Azerbaijan over the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a process that has been gaining momentum simultaneously with the Armenian-Turkish dialogue.
Sarkisian himself indicated last month that he will not travel to Turkey in October to watch the return match of the two countries’ national soccer teams unless Ankara moves to reopen the Turkish-Armenian border.
Ahead of the soccer match, the ARF calls for discontinuing the negotiations which it says “are aimed at serving Turkish interests” and not allowing Turkey “to meet its international commitments and at the same time force Armenia to make concessions.”
The nationalist party also announced a public rally in central Yerevan on September 2, the day of the declaration of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
“In conditions of renewed activity in the negotiations [with Azerbaijan], we must defend the victory of our people and force respect for Nagorno-Karabakh’s self-determination,” said the ARF, calling for Nagorno-Karabakh’s return to the negotiating table as a full party