Armenian opposition's demand to amend protocols can postpone their signing: expert

Armenian opposition's demand to amend protocols can postpone their signing: expert

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 7. / Trend E.Tariverdiyeva

Opposition parties in Armenia have hinted at the possibility of proposing amendments to the text of the protocols, which can lead to postponement of signing the protocols, European Expert on Caucasus Licinia Simao believes.

"Postponement of signing protocols, in turn would help opposition parties gather greater support from the more radical Diaspora groups and eventually galvanize their struggle against the President's decision, member of University of Coimbra, Simao wrote to trend News in an e-mail.

Earlier Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Trend in an exclusive interview that Turkey and Armenia will sign a deal to establish diplomatic ties on Oct. 10.

Opposition parties in Armenia have hinted at the possibility of proposing amendments to the text, including on the proposal to set up a commission to address the genocide issue.

During his recent international visit, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met with representatives of Armenian diasporas in Europe, Argentina and the U.S, and many of them expressed their opposition to the signing of a Turkish-Armenian agreement.

The Armenian diaspora holds protests worldwide. Sargsyan faced these actions in Paris, New York and Los Angeles. The demonstrators met the Armenian president with slogans such as "Traitor!", "No protocols".
Several opposition parties in Armenia are also against Sargsyan's policy. Such meetingsare also held against signing of the protocols.

On Oct.6, rally was held in Yerevan to protest signing of protocols on development of relations with Turkey, Armenia Today said. The event was organized by the movement Miasum "(" Unity "). Protesters marched to the memorial dedicated to victims of so-called "genocide" of Armenians. There they burned copy of protocols in eternal fire, as well as a photo of President Serzh Sargsyan.

The issue of the influence of the Diaspora groups in shaping foreign policy of Armenia is ambiguous, Simao added.

"The situation is extremely delicate for the Armenian President and his government, but his decision to consult with the Armenian Diasporas world -wide, in my view, attest to the serious efforts by Armenian leaders to bring this process to a positive conclusion," the expert said.

According to Simao, despite the radical opposition by some groups, others more moderate exist and have voiced their support to the reconciliation process. This is an important departure from the previous image of the Armenian Diaspora as an homogeneous group.

"Therefore, the balance between being optimistic or pessimistic is hard to achieve. A lot can happen to derail or endlessly postpone the process," Simao said.

However, concerning the important US and EU support to this process which have helped both the Armenian and the Turkish governments withhold criticism at home and abroad, Simao added.

According to the expert, the ongoing debates in both parliaments would also provide an updated picture of problems as to the real concerns being voiced at this point.

It is very difficult to make forecasts as to what might happen until October 10 and after that, Simao believes.

However, President Sargsyan's Republican Party should have no difficulties in getting the majority of the votes in Parliament to approve the ratification, gathering the support of the two remaining government coalition parties, Prosperous Armenia and Orinats Yerkir, Simao said.

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