YEREVAN (A.W.)—On Mon., April 27, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) announced that it is parting ways with Armenia’s ruling coalition, citing “insurmountable” differences in foreign policy issues.
In a statement, the party condemned and deemed unacceptable the joint statement issued on April 22—less than two days before Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day—by the foreign ministries of Turkey and Armenia. The party also cited serious disagreements on some of the issues that are under discussion between Turkish and Armenian officials.
“Henceforth, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation will work as a new opposition force in Armenia’s political landscape,” said the statement, underlining that the party will present alternatives to the current government’s policies and will aim at “counterbalancing and restraining” the actions of the authorities.
The ARF stressed that it will be dealing with Turkey-Armenia relations and the Karabagh issue based exclusively on national interests.
On April 22, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Turkey, and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued a joint statement announcing that a road map for normalizing relations has been identified. The statement, posted on the websites of Armenia’s and Turkey’s Foreign Ministries, read:
“Turkey and Armenia, together with Switzerland as mediator, have been working intensively with a view to normalizing their bilateral relations and developing them in a spirit of good-neighborliness, and mutual respect, and thus to promoting peace, security and stability in the whole region.
“The two parties have achieved tangible progress and mutual understanding in this process and they have agreed on a comprehensive framework for the normalization of their bilateral relations in a mutually satisfactory manner. In this context, a road-map has been identified.
“This agreed basis provides a positive prospect for the on-going process.”
The ARF reacted immediately, threatening to pull out of the coalition. In a statement issued on April 23, the party wrote: “ Good neighborly relations between the two countries can only be established after the recognition by Turkey of the Armenian Genocide and the restoration of the rights of the Armenian people.” The statement underlined the party’s position that only “the lifting of the blockade and the establishment of diplomatic relations, without preconditions, can serve as first steps on this path. It is absolutely unacceptable for us that relations with Turkey be normalized at the expense of Armenia’s sovereignty, the viability of its existence, or the national and state rights of future Armenian generations.”