Armenia Declares Protocols with Turkey Null and Void

YEREVAN—Armenian President Serge Sarkisian has officially annulled the 2009 Armenia-Turkey Protocols. The announcement came at a sitting of the National Security Council earlier today.

On Oct. 10, 2009, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian (L) and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu signed the protocols. (Photo: Photolure)

“Since its independence Armenia has tried to establish relations with Turkey,” Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said at today’s National Security Council session. “However, the Armenian-Turkish relations were in the deadlock when the President of Armenia initiated the process of normalization of relations with Turkey back in 2008, which was based on the vision of normalization of relations without preconditions.”

In his address to the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly last September, President Sarkisian had announced that Armenia would declare the 2009 Armenia-Turkey Protocols “null and void” if not ratified by the spring of 2018. Sarkisian said the so-called Zurich Protocols, which were signed in 2009 between Armenia and Turkey to allow the opening of borders and to set up formal diplomatic relations between the two nations, “continuously lacked” any positive progress toward implementation.

“The Government of Turkey came up with preposterous preconditions for their ratification that run counter to the letter and spirit of the Protocols,” Sarkisian said in his address. “I expressed the clear-cut views of the Armenian people on this issue three years ago, when I spoke from this eminent podium.” The deal was brokered by the United States, Russia, and France. In Feb. 2015, President Sarkisian recalled the protocols from Armenia’s Parliament, citing the “absence of political will” on the part of Turkey.

We will enter the spring of 2018 without those—as our experience has demonstrated, futile—Protocols,” Sarkisian announced during his address at the UN General Assembly.

A protester holds a sign that reads, “No to the Turkish preconditions,” in a demonstration held in Yerevan in 2009 (Photo: Inna Mekhitarian/Hairenik/the Armenian Weekly)

In his address to the National Security Council session on Thursday, Nalbandian stressed that Armenia has always been consistent in its stance on the implementation of the protocols. “Unfortunately, the further developments demonstrated once again that Ankara is not ready for the normalization and that the vocal statements of the Turkish side on the readiness to, so called, historical reconciliation have nothing to do with the reality,” he noted.

Nalbandian went on to say that launching the normalization process of the Armenian-Turkish relations, Armenia “fully realized the possible further developments”—that Turkey might not demonstrate relevant political will and respect its commitments. “Time proved that our concern was righteous. Up to this day, the absence of any step towards the ratification of the Protocols from the Turkish side, continuous attempts to link the ratification of the protocols with preconditions, provocative statements against Armenia and Armenians voiced by Ankara vividly attest that Turkey is not ready to ratify and implement the Protocols,” he concluded.

“Armenia played checkers. Turkey played chess,” said Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian.  “Yerevan pursued these reckless pro-Turkey accords over the common sense objections of the ANCA and nearly every civil society voice across the Armenian homeland and diaspora.  We issued countless warnings, held endless meetings and even organized protests, setting forth clear evidence and compelling arguments against this one-sided deal. Turns out, we were right on every count. Lessons learned, the hard way,” Hamparian added.


  1. What was the need to sign these defeatist protocols only to annul them years later? Don’t tell me the need was normalization of relations with Turkey. How do you “normalize” relations with a murderous state that annihilated your people, stole your ancestral homeland, shamelessly denied that genocide ever happened, closed borders with Armenia, and supported Azerbaijan’s aggression against Artsakh? When would Armenian leaders think before they put their signatures on agreements?

  2. if there could be a useful and meaningful ‘raprochement’ between anca and Yerevan…. 2 is better than 1.

  3. The whole process was ill conceived, it was decidedly one sided, had objectionable conditions and did not have the support of Armenians worldwide.
    It was a total charade dishonestly borkered by the US, Russia and France.
    Since its signing on 10/10/2009 not an iota of progress was made.
    It was high time for it to be annulled.
    Vart Adjemian

  4. The real culprit here is Receb Tayyib Erdogan. The double dealing autocrat who has attacked without mercy, anyone that he feels supports his nemesis Gulen.
    He has his thumbs up the US,( our supposed ally), befriends Putin to spite the US, moves Turkey towards a Sunni theocracy (just as Ayatollas did, moving Iran into Shi’a theocracy), blockades Armenia, continues to occupy North Cyprus, and now it is time to exterminate the Kurds, as his ancestor Ottomans did to the Armenians, 1915-1920

  5. Armenian’s want the Western Armenian States back, it’s been acoupid for too long, so putting Historical Armenia as one of their conditions to forget, no way, we want turkish acoupid Armenian States back.

  6. Please notice that while the Protocols required Armenia to respect its present border with Turkey, Turkey disrespects others’ borders such as Iraq’s, Syria’s, Cyprus’s, and Greece’s in the Aegean Sea.

    Armenia was unwise to sign the Protocols.

    Doing so can be regarded as treason.

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