President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, in an interview with the state television of Russia, expressed his views about Turkey-Armenia relations.
In the interview, Sargsyan said, “We do not think that the current government of Turkey is guilty of the Armenian Genocide, but by denying the Genocide, they become accomplices of the perpetrators. We invite Ankara to shed this burden”.
“It was not impossible for Erdoğan to come to Yerevan”
Sargsyan said that he invited Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, to Yerevan to commemorate the Genocide together on April 24, and said, “If Erdoğan had come, we would have commemorated the victims of the Armenian Genocide together, and could then have made a joint effort to prevent the recurrence of such crimes in the future. The best way to prevent future genocides is to hold past genocides accountable. It was not impossible for Erdoğan to come, because I invited the previous President of Turkey to Yerevan to watch a football match and he did come. Of course, a football game and April 24 are quite different, but I nevertheless invited him”.
To Pozner’s question, “Did you receive a response to your invitation?” the Armenian President responded by saying, “Yes, we did, but it was such a response that it would have been preferable to not have received any response at all”.
Pozner then asked Sargsyan how the people of Armenia would have acted if the President of Turkey did come to Armenia, and Sargsyan responded, “I have no doubt that they would have acted with great respect”.
Sargsyan went on to criticize US President Barack Obama’s April 24 statement, saying, “As a senator, Obama used the word Genocide, and during his election campaign condemned those who did not use the word Genocide. But now he himself refrains from using the term. For countries like Israel and the USA, their own interests come before human values”.
“Withdrawing the protocols is not a legal but a political step”
The presenter also asked Serzh Sargsyan whether compensation and reparations may be the reason why Turkey did not recognize the Armenian Genocide, to which he responded: “We demand that the Genocide is recognized. What happens after that is subject to negotiations. The withdrawal of the protocols from parliament was not a legal but political step. According to our constitution, a legal step would be withdrawing our signature. In other words, if the parliament of Turkey approves these protocols, then we will too, however, I do not think Turkey will do that any time soon.”