Richard Hovannisian Calls for Caution in Yerevan’s Diplomacy with Turkey

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Speaking to reporters in Yerevan Monday, UCLA Professor Richard Hovannisian urged Armenia’s government to exercise caution in its dealings with Turkey, warning that Ankara’s shrewd diplomacy would require Armenia to put forth firm demands on Turkey.

“I hope our authorities clearly know what they are going to demand from Turkey against the normalization of relations,” Hovannisian said.

The US born Professor of Armenian and Near Eastern History was in Yerevan participating in an academic conference on the 100th anniversary of the Adana Massacres, organized by the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Museum-Memorial Complex.

“We know that the Turkish side is very experienced, very adroit and flexible,” he said. “We should always be cautious and I do hope that our state has a clear program, which sets our demands,” Hovanessian said, adding that it is imperative for Yerevan to have a clear and planned approach to the negotiations.

“We know that Turks are very flexible and will use the policy of ‘we are in dialogue, don’t disturb the process,’ which we should be cautious of,” Hovannisian said.

Hovannisian is the author of a four volume series on the first Republic of Armenia, which chronicles the arduous attempt by Armenia’s first modern state to establish a democratic republic amid the Bolshevik revolution and the Turkish national movement. His four volume text presents the foreign policy challenges facing the nascent republic from its formation in 1918 to its sovietization in 1921.


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