“The only right solution is disavowing the Treaty of Kars,” says Melikyan
In the light of present discussion on Armenian-Turkish relations some Armenian politicians are inclined not to comment on the current stage of relations but instead suggest reviewing history.
Arman Melikyan, former Foreign Minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, believes that Armenia should not sign Armenian-Turkish protocols, (which among other things suggest the recognition of the current Armenia-Turkish border) but instead to start negotiations with Turkey over annulling the Treaty of Kars, which defines the borders between Turkey and the Transcaucasian countries. (Including Armenia)
The Treaty of Kars was signed in 1921 between Kemalist Turkey and Bolshevik Russia.
Armenia and Turkey had not any kind of relations after 1993 and now that a dialogue has started, Melikyan says it should include debate on old agreements.
“It will put an end to the creation of the relations established then,” Melikyan says. “And eventually it is necessary to create a plan of Armenian-Turkish joint actions, by which new diplomatic relations will start with Turkey.”
According to the above mentioned Treaty based on the Treaty of Moscow signed between the same countries earlier in 1921, Armenia ceded 24,000 square kilometers of territory (the Kars province and Surmalu entirely) to Turkey, and Nakhijevan was placed under Azerbaijan’s command.
According to Melikyan, since the signing of the Treaty of Kars was imposed on Armenia, it runs counter to all modern standards of international law. “If Turkey is really sincere, and if it, in fact, seeks to establish equal bilateral relations with Armenia, it must disavow those two treaties.”
Melikyan, who was a presidential candidate Armenia’s 2008 election, is sure that the currently ruling Republicans, who have a problem of legitimacy, and President Serzh Sargsyan, will not sign the Armenian-Turkish protocols without support.
“The only right solution is disavowing the Treaty of Kars. Even Georgia and Azerbaijan have done so, which means that in case of rejecting the Treaty of Kars, Armenia will decide whether Nakhijevan will remain in the territory of Azerbaijan or not,” Melikyan says.