ERDOGAN'S MEETING WITH SIRINOGLU A PR MOVE, EXPERT SAYS

news.am
March 31 2010
Armenia

The fact whether U.S. President Obama will use the word "genocide"
during his speech depends on the arrangement reached in the course of
the Sargsyan-Obama meeting in Washington, Turkish studies expert Artak
Shakaryan told journalists on Wednesday. He deems the Presidents are
likely to discuss Obama's April 24 speech and the vote on a Genocide
Resolution in the U.S. Congress.

According to the expert, in Washington, Serzh Sargsyan will try
to play a withdrawal card. "It is the only chance for Armenia and
we must take it," he added. Shakaryan thinks that, after achieving
certain arrangements with Obama, RA President will make a statement
on Armenia's freezing negotiations or withdrawing from the process.

Commenting on Turkish Premier Recep Erdogan's recent meeting with
the Istanbul-based Armenian community leader Bedros Sirinoglu, the
expert called it a "PR move". He said that Erdogan's statement about
deportation of illegal Armenian immigrants was severely criticized
both in and outside Turkey. Thus, he needed to improve his image.

"Sirinoglu is one of Premier's friends and he was invited to show
that Ankara is holding a dialogue with the local Armenian community,"
Shakaryan said.

Artak Shakaryan also added that Sirinoglu is not the leader of the
Istanbul Armenian community, as the Patriarch has been considered
leader since 1400s.