Armenia welcomes Turkey’s recent words toward the goal of normalization of bilateral relations. But it is concrete actions that matter–without preconditions, of course.
We expect, in the best of faith, that Turkey might forthwith:
a) execute a simple memorandum, based on fundamental UN principles, agreeing to establish diplomatical ties and embassies in the nations’ capital cities;
b) reopen the transportation and communication passages it unilaterally closed nearly thirty years ago;
c) use this historic diplomatic relationship to give resolution, inter alia, to the outstanding watershed issues inherited from the past, including recognition of and restitution for the Genocide (Tseghaspanutiun) and Great Dispossession (Mets Hayrenazrkum) of the Armenian people, the guaranteed right of retun to a National Hearth for all descendants of the victims and survivors, and the restoration of desecrated cultural heritage (a few examples of which you have thankfully attended to), all en route to a comprehensive normalization of relations, a true reconciliation between peoples, and a lawful and binding delimitation of the interstate frontier;
d) together with the other state of your “one nation” identity, remove your military forces from the sovereign territory of the Republic of Armenia, including the twenty-one kilometers of the Goris-Kapan highway;
e) withdraw your troops from Shushi, Hadrut and other occupied areas as well, rendering them a secure neutral zone within the Republic of Artsakh (Mountainous Karabagh) and allowing refugees of all nationalities to return to their places of origin;
f) return all remaining prisoners of war and civilians being held in the other state of your one nation;
g) and ensure that the other state of your one nation resumes, under OSCE auspices, civilized negotiations with the duly-elected government of the Republic of Artsakh for a full and final settlement of the conflict.
This, sir, is the roadmap to long-term peace and dignity. Subjugation and denial, drones and bayraktars, might give you a day, a decade, a century of petty human glory. But the Empire, when built on injustice and untruth, shall fall. God is not Muslim or Christian or Jewish.
Stand down, fellow man, the battle is not the war.
Raffi K. Hovannisian
First Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Armenia
27 July 2022