OSKANIAN'S INTERVIEW WITH TERT.AM

The Civilitas Foundation
Friday, 29 January 2010 13:21

www.tert.am: Mr. Oskanian what is your opinion about recent
developments in the Armenia-Turkey process?

Vartan Oskanian: My opinion is the same as it was at the start of
this process. These documents are the product of miscalculations on
both sides.

The Armenian side miscalculated, convinced that: 1. the Armenia-Turkey
border opening is of existential importance for Armenia's domestic
stability and economic development; 2. it will be easy for Turkey
to go counter to Azerbaijan's interests 3. If the document does not
contain the words "Treaty of Kars," "genocide" or "Nagorno Karabakh,"
then by utilizing state propaganda mechanisms, it will be possible
to convince the Armenian people that the formulations that indeed
address those matters are harmless.

The Turkish side miscalculated, convinced that: 1. the opening of the
Armenia-Turkey border is so important for Armenia that Turkey-centric
formulations arrived at through clever diplomatic machinations can
eventually in fact be executed.

2. Genocide and other historical issues are solely Diaspora concerns
and not of particular interest to those living in Armenia.

3. a Karabakh resolution is close at hand, any signing the
Armenia-Turkey protocols and linking the ratification process to
Nagorno Karabakh will serve as additional incentive for the Armenian
side to speed up the resolution, or at the very least, return some
territories.

Taking into consideration the great importance of normal relations
between Armenia and Turkey, there must be a review of this issue and
a new approach must be devised. The process toward improved relations
will not succeed if it is based on the short-term political interests
of the Armenian or Turkish governments, or if they overlook existing
political and historical complexities. Such a process must sincerely
acknowledge all problems and challenges if the purpose is indeed to
achieve real and sustainable rapprochement.