Well Said: Sargsyan address timely, if overdue

An address to his nation by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan Thursday night should also be seen as a message to US President Barack Obama that says: “We honored our word. Now honor yours.”

By publicly stating what has long been known – that the protocol process is a failure – Sargsyan expressed sentiments that should be welcomed throughout the worldwide Armenian community, regardless of political persuasion, and in spite of the ugly history that afforded Sargsyan the national stage.

For more than a year, Obama has dodged his promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide, by invoking the worthy ideal of giving Armenia and Turkey a chance to “work out their differences”.

What Sargsyan stated Thursday night, and what should be acknowledged from Ankara to Washington is that historic enmity cannot be undone so long as contemporary ill will is allowed to condition peace-making attempts.

Turkey has played the American president past his first April 24 in office, by feigning its willingness to follow a “roadmap” of rapprochement.

Sargsyan’s bold address Thursday, if nothing else, revealed a stiffened backbone that too often (but by necessity) has bowed to the American interests of “regional stability”, etc.

“We consider unacceptable the pointless efforts of making the dialogue between Armenia and Turkey an end in itself; from this moment on, we consider the current phase of normalization exhausted,” the Armenian president said.

Simply stated, Sargsyan gave notice that Armenia will no longer be complicit in the charade that has become a pretext on Capitol Hill for excusing Turkey’s denial of history.

Sargsyan’s address came exactly one year to the date on which Ankara and Yerevan announced the “roadmap” to normalizing relations. The declaration was viewed then – most egregiously by Dashnaks – as Turkey’s safeguard against Obama saying “genocide” in his annual April 24 address.

For certain, Obama will not use the word in his address this April 24 either. But at least this time, thanks to Sargsyan’s powerful position stated Thursday, Armenia no longer has a share in the convenient coverup for the American president.

By announcing his government’s decision “to suspend the procedure of ratifying the Protocols,” Serzh Sargsyan politely announced Armenia’s resolve to no longer be made a fool. It says, too, that Armenia will not help pave an exit ramp from Obama’s moral obligation for the sake of a “roadmap” that has led nowhere.