Trend News commentator: Why does Armenia rushes with the protocols by tripping up future friends?
Trend European Desk Commentator Elmira Tariverdiyeva
Last weeks and next ones will be crucial for Armenian-Turkish relations. The protocols on the normalization of relations signed in Zurich were submitted to the National Assembly of Armenia.
The Armenian government took this step despite assurances that the Armenian Parliament will consider the protocols only after passing the ratification procedure to the Turkish Majlis.
Moreover, the President of Armenia in the nearest future can take a risk and go further - to submit protocols on the immediate unilateral ratification.
According to Samvel Nikoyan, National Assembly deputy speaker, Armenia can take the initiative and approve the documents without waiting for Turkey, EurasiaNet.org reported.
"I think it would be much better if Armenia continues the initiative," Parliamentary member led by President Sargsyan's Republican Party of Armenia, Nikoyan, said at a press conference on Feb. 16.
Despite the indignation of Armenia's internal forces concerning the Armenian President's actions, Sargsyan must take the risk for several reasons. Of course, if the Majlis does not get the protocols in the nearest future, Armenia will immediately leave the process I should say that risk is fully justified given the reaction of foreign observers at a "friendly gesture" of Armenia.
The fact is that Armenians must maintain the image of a "long-suffering, deprived and betrayed" nation. By presenting itself before the international community as an initiator, Armenia gains points.
More than one year it will talk about the unfairness of the world in which the agreements are not followed, even at the level of the signed documents. Unfortunately, even now, many Western observers lose sight of important moment of the Armenians' behavior towards the documents.
On Jan.12, Armenia's Constitutional Court confirmed that the protocols complied with the country's Constitution. It stressed that there is no need for a joint commission that will investigate the 1915events that occurred during the rule of the Ottoman Empire, and that Armenia will never retract the requirement of recognizing the so-called "genocide."
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that if the Armenian Constitutional Court does not reconsider its decision on the protocols between the two countries, relations between Ankara and Yerevan can worsen.
Now, Turkey simply refuses to ratify the protocols. The most important point of the protocols was deliberately refuted by Armenia's principal judicial organ. At the same time, the U.S. Congress has just in time raised the genocide issue. However, it is unlikely to affect Ankara's position, which has ambitions not only in the South Caucasus but also in the Middle East.
Turkey is developing a unified strategy with Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. It is not profitable for it to remain in positions of ever standing in line at the EU countries and absolute ally of the United States. Ankara needs independence now more than ever. It is moving towards it steadily.
Considering that any vote of the U.S. Congress, which will try to reflect the historical facts of the 1915 events in a distorted manner, will be a severe blow to Turkish-American relations, Armenians are openly demonstrating good will, without worrying about the consequences.
A bold decision not to wait for Turkey and first ratify the protocols must have a positive impact on Armenia's international image. The expected unilateral ratification in the Armenian Parliament will portray Turkey as an unreliable partner.
There is also another important point in the protocols. The Armenian president and his government have the lowest legitimacy in the country's modern history. Therefore, many of President Sargsyan's foreign policy actions are desperate and try to deflect attention from internal problems and shortcomings that have resulted from unresolved political crisis in the country.
Enhancing dramatic statements and decisive actions of the Armenian government has recently called upon to deflect attention from the near anniversary on March 2. That day nine protesters were killed and about 300 injured during protests against the present government after the presidential elections in 2008.
In short, with the late ratification of the Armenian-Turkish protocols, Yerevan is pursueing its own interests, caring little about a real warming of relations with Ankara and tripping up future "friends."