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Armenian Opposition Reaffirms Rejection Of Turkey Deal

Levon Zurabian of the opposition Armenian National Congress
Levon Zurabian of the opposition Armenian National Congress
YEREVAN -- The opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) has reaffirmed its strong condemnation of agreements to normalize Armenia's relations with Turkey, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Levon Zurabian, the HAK's central office coordinator, said on November 5 that the signing of the two agreements in Zurich on October 10 marked the "disgraceful failure" of President Serzh Sarkisian's policy of rapprochement with Turkey. He said the Turkish parliament will not ratify the accords unless Armenia makes more concessions to Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Zurabian told RFE/RL that the Turkish parliament will "drag out the ratification as long as it takes to put pressure on" the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He added that "Turkey loses nothing" by not ratifying the protocols, and that Ankara has "already received what it needed."

The HAK, which is led by former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, gave a mostly positive assessment of the protocols when they were first publicized by Ankara and Yerevan on August 31. But in another statement issued last month, it rejected the deal as "immoral and inadmissible."

Zurabian said on November 5 that the international community will step up pressure on the Armenian side over Karabakh in an effort to facilitate its ratification by the Turkish parliament.

But a top representative of Sarkisian's Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) claimed the opposite, saying that it is Turkey that will come under international pressure if it drags its feet during the ratification process. Both Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian have repeatedly stated that the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement cannot have a direct effect on the Karabakh peace process.