Clinton Meets with Armenian, Turkish Foreign Ministers Over Protocols Impasse

LONDON (RFE/RL)–U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has met with her counterparts from Armenia and Turkey to discuss an intensifying diplomatic dispute that has raised an additional obstacle to the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations.

Clinton met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Wednesday and Armenia’s Edward Nalbandian the next day on the sidelines of an international conference held in London. She was due to hold more talks with Davutoglu late on Thursday.

The Armenian and Turkish ministers had a separate meeting there earlier in the day. An Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to give any details, telling RFE/RL only that the conversation was very short and impromptu.

The Turkish Hurriyet Daily News quoted an unnamed Turkish diplomat as saying that Davutoglu reiterated Ankara’s concerns about the Armenian Constitutional Court’s interpretation of the normalization “protocols” signed by the two governments in Switzerland last October. “The two sides had the chance to review their well-known positions. There is no change,” said the diplomat.

The two top diplomats already discussed the controversy in a phone call last week, with Davutoglu alleging that the Armenian court acted against the letter and the spirit of the protocols despite upholding their conformity with Armenia’s constitution. Nalbandian dismissed the Turkish claims as “nonsense” at a news conference on Friday.

The U.S. State Department likewise disagreed with Ankara’s stance. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon said late last week that Washington regards the court ruling as a “positive step forward in the ratification process of the normalization protocols between Turkey and Armenia” that “does not appear to limit or qualify them in any way.”

“The court ruling is restrictive,” Davutoglu insisted as he spoke to Turkish journalists on his way to London on Wednesday. According to Hurriyet he also said the Turkish government will substantiate its claims in a legal document that will be sent to the U.S. and Swiss governments soon.

Ankara is specifically unhappy with the court’s assertion that the protocols place no obligations on Yerevan pertaining to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and do not commit it to stop seeking greater international recognition of the Armenian genocide. Turkish officials say this runs counter to a protocol clause envisaging the formation of a Turkish-Armenian inter-government “subcommission” that would look into the 1915 mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

The Armenian side insists that the would-be panel was never supposed to determine whether the massacres constituted genocide. It argues that the clause in question stipulates only that the “subcommission” shall engage in an “impartial scientific examination of historical documents and archives.”

In an interview with Turkish NTV television aired on Tuesday, Davutoglu said his government will not take further steps towards the protocols’ ratification by the Turkish parliament unless its concerns are addressed by Armenia and the mediating powers. “We expect clear explanations from Armenia regarding the Constitutional Court’s decision,” he said.

Armenian Justice Minister Gevorg Danielian made clear on Thursday that while the authorities in Yerevan may “provide clarifications” of the ruling they will take no steps contradicting any of its provisions. All of those provisions are equally binding for Armenia’s government and parliament, he said.

“If the other side comes up with a position contradicting this [court] decision in the process of bilateral relations, then our side must naturally refrain from those relations and act solely within the framework of Constitutional Court rulings,” added Danielian.


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  1. William G. said:

    Nothing is more gratifying than to see her finalize her own demise.
    I love it when she doesn’t get her way.

    • manooshag said:

      Sadly, Hilary is incapable of upholding any of the Armenian rights… she, the State Department leader, and for all those in this same office prior to her – know only to continue in the fixed mode of Turkey for the Turks… Lands for the Genocider Turks
      – the victims – well we can see where her instincts lead her… sadly.
      As a woman, I had almost hoped she’d be directed to face the Armenian Genocide as a moral issue – and not a policitcal issue as the Turks insist. 
      As a woman, I hoped she’d lead the way for more women to gain offices in our American government – break the pattern in our leaderships of today, and show what morals American women can bring into our American leaderships.
      Actually, I think our best women to start this ‘entry’ into government positions shall be the teachers in our educational system – teaching truths, living truths, working for truths. 
      Sadly, Hilary just ‘ain’t got the morals’ to understand  this route.  Manooshag

      W.G. thanks for the REPLY lead… M

  2. Kiazer Souze said:

    Thank God the protocols are dead. Let the Turks boil in their own stew till eternity. May the deniers. the Mongolians and their complicit world bodies all go to Jahenem.  

  3. Krikor said:

    How far can Turkish denial go. Turkey’s policy has been, is and will always be shameless and miserable regardless of Clinton’s efforts. Now Turkey is threatening even its best partner; US

    • Alex Postallian said:

      When you lie about your own history,even knowing you are wrong,reason 70% of turkey is illiterate thats 101,basic.they will never change. The real reason U.S., turkey,and etc interested in Azebaijian is OIL,OIL,OIL.The hypocrites.So forget about the Protocols,it will never work with turkey.They dont belong in the E.U.They would stink up the place.

  4. Harout said:

    I am sure this protocol was fully understood and signed by  serzh and nalbantian… all this talk talk to exclude Artsakh and every other disputes (multiple treasons)are just to convince the Armenian people globaly that they are trying very hard on Armenian people’s rights and interests…   It’s all staged with an agenda.  They think Armenian people are stupid specially the diaspora.  I mean “YOU GUYS SIGNED IT BY KNOWING EXACTLY WHAT IT IS”

    • papken hartunian said:

      We wait till the next administration come to power. The administration policy is to please Big Boys in order t o stay in power. Now, they are out of picture.  Now, the Big Boys must deal with the people. Fortunately, the Constitutional Court provided a legal path to fight protocols to prevent civil war in Armenia.

  5. Nairian said:

    Dear William G.  I echo and resound your sentiments.  She has those frightful eyes that you want to get away from and fast.

    • Hovsep (Osik) Movsessian said:

      Dear Nairian,
      Last week I learned something that I want to share with you and others.
      If you want to make a comment on William G.’s comment (in this case) disregard the comment area that has been opened for you by the system; that must be used if you want to start your own new comment for the article; if you want to make a comment for one of the previous comments on any article; disregard the open comment; find the small blue “Reply” at the bottom of his comment (W. G.’s in this case), if you click on that the system hide the comment area that it gave you and will open a new blank comment area for you bundled with W. G.’s comment in the same rectangle.

      If ever one does this religiously then the whole thing will look more organized by original comments followed by bundle of related replies in a FIFO (First in First out) sequence which makes more sense; and the newcomers to that area can follow the whole thing without going up and down, as you see here that’s what I did in reply to your comment, now if you are willing to make a comment about this comment of mine; just click on my small blue “Reply”  near the left corner of bottom edge of my rectangle and grab the new comment area right after my comment, otherwise making comments on any comment is useless because it looks like a scattered broken chain and is impossible to trace.



      • manooshag said:

        Hye Hovsep, I used the REPLY, and thanks… it really replies to the message I was ‘replying’ to… many thanks.

  6. Harout said:

    I quote Turkey saying
    “Turkish-Armenian inter-government “subcommission” that would look into the 1915 mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.”
    Those proof of documents were all burned and destroyed by Kemal Attaturk!!! To claim Western Armenia Never Existed!!   There Never Was Any Armenian Nation There!!
    That’s why Turkish Government keep pressing on opening those archives…( knowing they were destroyed by then)

    • papken hartunian said:

      One should ask Turkey what how it is going to compensate Armenians in case the so called joint commission found that in fact there was Genocide. How Turkey and Armenians can assent to such commission when the prime minister of Turkey believes that no Muslim can commit genocide; And Armenian’s Declaration of Independence article 11 commands Armenian government to pursue the 1915 genocide?

    • Philip said:

      Yes, but if you look into the American, French, and British archives it will be clear, evident and without a doubt that the Turkish government did commit genocide. Why is this fact being ignored? Why is Turkey teaching its children that it was the Armenians that slaughtered Turks?? The U.S. has evidence of the massacres and is one of the leading countries at that time that had its people sending aide to the Armenians, there are first hand witnesses from American missionaries, which some were also murdered, that saw the atrocities, and let us not forget the government officials that were present and their memoirs, and archives show that the Turkish government had a plan to exterminate not only Armenians but all races in their empire that were not Turkish or muslim. The evidence is there but overseen. The U.S. knows what happened, it has its archives, Ambassadorial testimony, Relief work efforts, and its many newspaper articles, but it seems that as long as Turkey says no the U.S. will follow no matter what. Its as foreign diplomacy is more important than bringing justice for an act of crime against humanity known and proven as a genocide committed by the Turkish government.

      • manooshag said:

        Hye Philip, as aware as I am of the ‘proofs’ of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation – sadly, totally ignored by our American leaderships for their misguided politics – I do believe that the Archives shall bring more awareness of the words from the witnesses – the non-Armenians witnesses – for it appears believe the words of the Surviviors have not been understood, yet.  Do you know if the Archives, in all their various languages of the writers, are available – especially on the internet?  In their own languages, translations to the English, and more… I know these exsist in all their nation’s Archives – and even in Washington DC (near to the State Department offices).  If so, how and where to  gain access to these… thanks.  Manooshag.  

        • Papken Hartunian said:

          My dear Harout and Manooshag, the short answer for your whys is that Armenians voice is not loud enough to be heard. The recognition of Ottoman Genocide against Armenians will not resolve the real issue. The real issue is how the Armenia can continue to exist as a viable state. Armenia needs Western Armenia to exist as a proseper and good naighbor in the region.  Armenians must create a nation with new weapon systems to demand not to negotiate.
          I believe,  with the current technology, it is possible to design such a virus that could explode the remote computer while in use or enemate radio active particles.
          <!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>

  7. Garo Avedis said:

    Just as her husband who betrayed us Armenians in year 2000 with then  the speaker of the House Hasterd,I did not vote fore her past Obama will pay the price of selecting her as secratary of State coming up Nov-2010,either obstain or vote for GOP this November.

  8. Gayane said:

    You know the saying.. what goes around comes around..???

    Well, in our case, Clinton, Dav SHUN toglu, Serj, Edward.. all those that are involved in this shameless act will get their piece of action.. they will get what they deserve…

    By having the Armenian Courts to bring out the dirt these protocols truly represented is the first step to damnation for all above..


  9. Sevag A. said:

    Looks like someone in the state department promised one “interpretation” to Turkey and another version to Armenia…looks like someone is caught in their own lie.

  10. Dave said:

    The main thing that Clinton is concerned about is that if these protocols are not ratified she won’t get her Nobel Peace prize. 

    After all, she figures, “Obama got one – why not me?”  

    • PapKen Hartunian said:

      She and her Big Brothers want the same thing that Turkey wants, Armenia without Armenians. Alas, they already have turned Armenians to a snake whose tail has been cut out by them. Armenians now are in the process of growing their tails. According to the poet, our enemies have oppressed us so hard that we have been turned into diamonds. Armenians are only nation that can and should manage Caucuses including our old friends Turks.

  11. manooshag said:

    Hye, the Archives… in all the various civilized nations’ languages, are these available on internet?  Translated even into English?  Manooshag