Disturbing, New Revelations on Border Opening

By Ara Khachatourian, posted in Asbarez, 30 March 2009

The verbal back-and-forth on an imminent agreement between Armenia and Turkey continued Monday with the Turkish press reporting that Turkey and Armenia had agreed on a roadmap to establish diplomatic ties and open the border, with the sides reportedly contemplating the timing of the announcement and some asserting that the announcement should come next week before President Barack Obama’s visit to Turkey.

By Ara Khachatourian, posted in Asbarez, 30 March 2009

The verbal back-and-forth on an imminent agreement between Armenia and Turkey continued Monday with the Turkish press reporting that Turkey and Armenia had agreed on a roadmap to establish diplomatic ties and open the border, with the sides reportedly contemplating the timing of the announcement and some asserting that the announcement should come next week before President Barack Obama’s visit to Turkey.

Some media reports also attributed an announcement about the border opening after Obama’s visit to Armenia’s Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian. The Armenian Foreign Ministry only denied that Nalbandian ever made such an announcement.

But what of the other revelations blanketing the Turkish press Monday?

“Turkey and Armenia are readying to sign a protocol that marks commitment by both sides to establish diplomatic relations and set up committees on issues ranging from border management, customs, history and more. Having achieved a satisfying deal which includes setting up a history committee to discuss 1915 events, on which Yerevan dragged its feet for a long time, the remaining dilemma for Ankara is the proper timing of the announcement,” reported the Hurriyet Daily News.

“The draft protocol will set the framework for transition to full diplomatic relations possibly starting with low-key representations in Ankara and Yerevan or accreditation of ambassadors from other neighboring capitals. Simultaneously Turkey will come up with a road map for a solution in Nagorno-Karabakh. The modalities of the new border regime will be determined upon the work by the border committee while as part of a show of good will immediate measures would be taken for a gradual opening. Diplomatic recognition will be supported by social and economic projects with coordination of the Turkish Armenian Business Development Council, or TABDC,” added Hurriyet.

Several key issues were “revealed” including the troubling assertion that Armenia has agreed to the formation of a commission of historians to address the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s alleged role in drafting a “road map” to Karabakh peace.

While this could be yet another sensationalist attempt by Turkey to create an illusion that all systems are go for Turkish-Armenian detente on the eve of the Obama visit in an effort to derail the Genocide recognition issue, but the question of the veracity of Turkish claims that Armenia has agreed to the formation of the commission remains un-refuted by the Nalbandian apparatus.

On several occasions, Nalbandian and President Serzh Sarkisian have reiterated that Armenia was in favor of establishing diplomatic ties and opening of borders without any preconditions. Last week, Nalbandian said that the issue of the Armenian Genocide is not up for discussion during the ongoing negotiations to normalize relations between Armenia and Turkey, when asked by a reporter to clarify Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan’s announcement that the sides were, in fact, discussing the Genocide issue.

“I don’t want to believe that the Turkish Foreign Minister can make such a statement, because the Armenian Genocide issue has not been discussed with the Turkish side,” asserted Nalbandian.

We do not want to believe it either. Any agreement on establishment of a commission to address the veracity of the Genocide or a leading role for Turkey in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process are unacceptable and will jeopardize Armenia’s national interests and security.

Next week Obama will be in Istanbul to attend a United Nations Summit on Civilizations. We learned Monday, through the Turkish press, that Nalbandian will also attend that event, leading the Turkish press to speculate that the setting would be ripe to announce the so-called border agreement.

To end the confusion and to further articulate Armenia’s national interests, Nalbandian should make clear and thorough announcements, because one-off responses to reporters’ inquiries and one sentence denials by a spokesperson on this crucial matter of pan-national importance are not enough as we enter what appears to be an historic time for our nation.

Related material:

A Turning Point: Armenian Officials Take the Bold Steps

A Coordinated Effort through Democracy 

Armenia’s Choice: The Inalienable Diaspora



  1. Armenian Genocide – Going, Going, GONE – Almost

    Throughout the past six months, Armenia has most conveniently relieved President Obama of his 24th April promise, which had he stood by would have been contentious and proven costly for his country; not at all welcomed at this time of crisis. Armenia has also most graciously accommodated Turkey’s needs, not only facilitating its goal of evading US recognition of the Armenian Genocide, but resolving a host of other problems. Turkey will soon have erased Armenian Genocide from the list of human rights issues to be resolved and will hence be able to push open the hitherto firmly closed door to the European Union. Turkey will no longer have the burden of having to annually lobby against the Armenian Genocide in the US and with its other allies – For Ever!


    1. Elaborate please.

      Hi Bruce, can you please elaborate.  What I understand from your post; the Armenian government has waived the condition of Armenian Genocide officially with the Turks, so we will not have the right to ask for the recognition anymore…

      Also other issues have been waived in the negotiations in favour to the Turks…???

      Is this officially announced and how/where did you get this ‘dangerous’ information?

      1. Tigran,Sorry, I have only


        Sorry, I have only just noticed this comment and your request. But maybe just as well, we now know how  the Obama trip went, and the consequent events, in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia.

         My “Sargsyan – A Year of Deception”  has links to the Armenian regime deception, and includes references to how Eduard Nalbandian continued his efforts to Establish Turkey’s Long-Awaited Independent Commission and how he Derided those Countries which have Already Recognized Genocide, with complete contempt to the Armenian cause. 

        I trust by now it is widely understood how the regime operates, not for the good of the Republic, but for personal gain. The commission will be made up of Sargsyan / Kocharian cronies, who will reach a decision to suit Sargsyan and Kocharian, i.e. the more money the better. Once the commission has decided in favour of Turkey ( the most profitable option), Armenia will have little or no chance of pressing its Genocide claim further internationally, although within Armenia the Genocide will not be forgotten – hopefully. Or will Sargsyan and Kocharian ban Armenia from mentioning Genocide, like Turkey does?

        My latest post Has Turkey Traded Genocide for Karabakh 


        articulates my latest analysis of this process – also here on Keghart.



  2. ” La dignidad de la UE”

    " La dignidad de Europa y de Turquia esta en juego a causa de la historia" Fuente: Punto de Mira por Chema Gil / VMP- Armenia Press.- Que un pais como Turquia que presume de ser democratico persiga con el Art. Penal 301 a historiadores, intelectuales y periodistas por intentar recuperar la Memoria Historica, lo unico que hace es ponerlo en evidencia.- Que grupos terroristas como los " lobos grises " u otros de la misma etiologia, con un silencio casi complice de los poderes publicos turcos, asesinen a quienes simplemente mencionen el Genocidio Armenio, con acontecimientos que producen la percepcion de que ese pais NO esta maduro para ser reconocido como miembro de la Union Europea, donde sus paises miembros SI han sabido hacer un acto de contricion " reconociendo " lo ocurrido en la mitad del siglo XX .—OPINION: Estas paginas de la historia, como si fuera posible arrancarlas de los libros y de la memoria  " son las que le pesan a turquia "  como si aquello no hubiera sucedido, como si se tratara de una anecdota historica mas.— Desde la Diaspora Peticionemos masivamente al Presidente Barack Obama  http://www.whitehouse.gov ( contact us )  para que cumpla con su promesa de reconocer el Genocidio Armenio.- Miguel Angel Nalpatian(1942).- Mar del Plata.- Buenos Aires.- Rca Argentina.-  

  3. Missing the point on Russia

    I think the author of this article may be missing an important point.  Armenia is under the jurisdiction of Russia.  Since the war in Georgia last summer and the severance of normal ties between the two countries, in order to maintain (and guarantee) supply lines to Armenia (where it holds industrial and military assets) which hitherto gets 90% of its supplies through Georgia, Russia must find an alternative route for its supplies into Armenia, as well as alternate markets for its products (namely, now, electrical energy, and probably natural gas, too).

    Therefore, the opening of the borders should not be viewed with the myopic eyes of Armenian Genocide issue (which seems to be the only glasses in which the Armenian Diaspora views Armenia and Turkey), but rather the regional issues in play.  The Armenian government merely does what mother Russia tells Armenia to do.  Armenia has not much say in it.  (It is Russia who provides the Armenian President with his Power; not the people of Armenia, not the economy of Armenia, not the military of Armenia.) Who defends Armenia’s borders?  Armenia does not possess one fighter jet!  It does not even have a decent air base.

    Russia’s plan for Armenia is to create new supply routes into Armenia and to expand its energy market to Turkey (it wants to sell Turkey electrical energy [Russia controls almost the entire electrical energy grid and power plants in Armenia]). Food for thought.

    1. Russia holds the strings on Armenia’s energy resources

      It is true that, in the aftermath of the Geogian conflict, Russia wanted to cut off  Georgian supply routes, which would have cut off important supplies to Armenia. However, it soon became clear that cutting off the Georgian route to Armenia was not feasible, not only for Armenia’s sake, and Russia backed away from that option.

      But by that time, the effort was under way to open the only alternative route, and Turkey jumped at that opportunity to press Armenia to resolve three long outstanding issues, including Genocide. In return, the Armenian regime jumped at the opportunity to accommodate Turkey’s demands, including agreement to Turkey’s commission of historians, which led to six months of secretive and highly devious negotiations.

      With respect to Russia controlling almost the entire electrical energy grid and power plants in Armenia, and wanting to sell that energy to Turkey. Although it is true that Russia holds the strings on Armenia’s energy resources, I found during my in-depth Parliamentary studies in 2004 (and reported) that the ‘Russian Companies’ ‘Privatized’ Armenia’s state assets, including in the energy sector, are actually subsidiaries of ‘Russian Companies’ dominated by Armenian state cronies, who are even keener than Russia to sell their electricity.

      1. Armenian state cronies actually behind Russian subsidiaries

        "the ‘Russian Companies’ ‘Privatized’ Armenia’s state assets, including in the energy sector, are actually subsidiaries of ‘Russian Companies’ dominated by Armenian state cronies, who are even keener than Russia to sell their electricity."

        Very interesting.  I would like to hear more about your findings…  Any documents or specific facts that you can share, such as a link to your Parliamentary studies?

        Bravo on your whistle blowing regarding the corruption in the water management project…  I have a feeling an even worse corruption is in the works with regard to the proposed $5 Billion with a "B" nuclear power plant that does not make any economic sense…

        I’d also like to hear more about the subsidiary of GeoProMining (a Russian company) who is now operating the Gold mine at Zotk.  As well as who is behind the talks on extracting uranium from Syunik.

        1. Give me you email


          The details about the subsidiaries of ‘Russian Companies’ were publicly available in 2004, when RAO – UES and Gazprom released information about dozens of subsidiaries that operated in the various republics of the FSU. But now that information is not released.

          With respect to my findings, I covered a bit of that in my post ‘Stealing Armenia – How He did it’ Khosq 

          which is supported by letters to and from the IMF and the World Bank, who were and are well aware of each of the operations.

          Let me know your email address and I can send more details.

          You are right about the proposed $5 Billion with a "B" nuclear power plant that does not make any economic sense, it is again an attempt to keep the FDI moving, with healthy cash incentives for those involved.



          1. Please share

            Hi Bruce, please consider sharing that information with all of us, perhaps in an article that can be published on these pages…?

          2. By all Means


            Here is my reply to Aram, although of course I can not include the attachments.

            Hello Aram,

            You requested more info on my action, so I attach a copy of the March 2007 GAP ‘Demand Letter’ to INT, plus a November 2004 letter I sent to Jimmy McHugh at the IMF, following a number of interesting discussions. It turned out that the $100 million plus fabricated fund was used to ‘privatize’ the Kajaran molybdenum factory, after Tcshmaritain and Kocharian had both dashed off to Germany for discussions with Cronimet.

            After my letter, the Vorotan Hydro Power cascade was taken from the list of state assets for privatization and Merujian Michaelian, the Deputy Minister of Finance was removed from office, the President’s anti-corruption team announcing he had been found to be involved in minor corruption – a little more than $100 million.

            As I wrote, the details of participation in overseas investing companies is now not available, and the regime keeps all such information very close to its chest, the Parliament either can not or does not want to get hold of it. But believe me, the vast majority of shares in most of the ‘privatized’ state assets are held by Kocharian / Sargsyan regime cronies.




          3. My email

            Bruce, please email me at aram.madarian {at} yahoo.ca

            I don’t understand why Keghart.com collects my email address for every post if Keghart.com will not send me an email saying that someone responding to my earlier posting.  (Isn’t that the whole point of collecting the email address of users who post a message?)

          4. Now you can!

            Hello Aram, 

            The option is now available and when you post or reply to a comment you will get an option to be notified of any replies.
            Try it next time and thanks for alerting us of the need.

            Vako Nicolian

          5. Brilliant.  Thanks Vako!

            Brilliant.  Thanks Vako!

            Dear Dikran,

            Those precautions make good sense.  Thank you for a great open medium of information exchange and communication!

          6. Exchange of e-mail addresses

            Dear Aram,

            Allow me to clarify where Keghart.com stands on these issues.

            Simply because it is not a chat room or a group, but  a web-site, it has to stricly abide by rules of privacy and cannot automatically be a conduit for exchanges of e-mail addresses.

            Having said so,  it is gratifying to notice that many people have gotten in touch with each other through Keghart postings and comments, with the following routine in mind:

            If a person wants to communicate with a second person and such a request has been made directly to keghart via "Contact Us"  or other means – such as my private e-mail – then the first person’s wish is transmitted to the second without divulging any addresses unless explicitly so stated by the person making the request.  When the two parties agree on reciprocating with each other,  then their wish is carried with appropriate documentation.

            Several readers of Keghart.com can attest to above. That was not the case in this instance, and hence no addresses were exchanged through Keghart.


            Dikran Abrahamian

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