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    Armenian right in uproar at border deal

    by Vercihan Ziflioğlu
    25.04.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    YEREVAN - Shockwaves shot through Armenian domestic politics Thursday after the announcement of a road map to normalize relations with Turkey, as one faction of the coalition government prepared to break away from the ruling party.

    The Turkish and Armenian governments made the agreement public one day before April 24, when Armenia commemorates the events of 1915.

    Giro Manoyan, international secretary of Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaksutyun Bureau, revealed that his party would bring the issue to the attention of President Serge Sarkisian as soon as he returns from an official visit abroad.

    Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review in Yerevan, Manoyan criticized the timing of the announcement of the road map, adding, "This statement made before April 24 is unforgivable."

    "Before April 24, we offered them our opinion on not to come to terms with Turkey under any circumstances. But what has happened is just the opposite," Manoyan said. Noting that Turkey has listed preconditions to normalize relations, Manoyan argued that he does not believe Ankara has intentions to open the border, which it closed unilaterally in 1993. He said Turkey has no right to use the Nagorno-Karabakh problem as a precondition, insisting that Karabakh is a bilateral issue between Armenia and Azerbaijan. "I am having a hard time to defin what road map means. Moreover, let us not forget that road maps are for long distances. There is no need for maps for short ones" he added.

    The news on the compromised road map hit the streets, too. Armenians, who attended the annual march, which is traditionally held the night before April 24, displayed their reaction with slogans.

    Anahid Harutyunyan, whose family is of Istanbul origin, said: "We have a pain inside that has lasted for 94 years. This statement before April 24 has hurt me deeply. This is unforgivable."

    Bagrat Sarkisian said the mentioned agreement can never be accepted. "We do not need a road map. This is the greatest pain that can be inflicted upon Armenian people prior to April 24." Rober Gaspraryan said the events of 1915 must be recognized as "genocide" by the whole world. "The entire world should put pressure on Turkey," he said.

    As the Daily News went to print on Friday, U.S. President Obama had not delivered his expected speech on the issue. Our readers may follow the developments at www.hurriyetdailynews.com

    ARMENIAN YOUTH IN TORCH MARCH

    Armenian youth from all over the world attended the torch march on the night of April 23. It began on Mashdotsz Street at the center of Yerevan at and ended at the Genocide Museum on Tsitsernakapert. The youth branch of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation burned Turkish flags later in the night. The crowd asking the world to recognize the "genocide" and carrying banners against Turkey. On April 24, thousands of people, visited the Genocide Museum to attend the ceremony and left flowers at the monument.
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