Notes From Hairenik
I wrote an article recently that was published by the Armenian Weekly about the agreement of "mutual understanding" that was signed a few days ago. Here's an excerpt:
A New York Times article that appeared on April 23 confirmed that a framework, defined as a “roadmap,” had been agreed upon by Armenia and Turkey assuring that continuing, mutually beneficial relations between them were forthcoming. However, the Turkish side insisted that the Armenian-Turkish border would remain closed.

“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,” a joint statement read.

As of April 23 both the Turkish and Armenian foreign ministries refused to comment on the details of the agreement.
Personally I think this is a very risky step taken by Armenia. This entry was originally going to be much longer and address other issues like Obama's failure to use the "G-word" in his April 24 statement, which is not entirely his fault as anyone who has rational sense very well understands, but anyway. Any kind of friendly dialogue with Turkey has to have meaning, there must be relevance to rapprochement with Turkey. The Armenian government has repeatedly stated publicly that it had no preconditions for having an open border. This document seems to have cemented this mentality that nothing should be expected from Turkey should they agree to have their shared border opened. In other words, Turkey's acknowledging its committal of genocide against Armenians is not at all necessary. Armenia's geostrategic interests, such as free, secure access to the Black Sea, are apparently not essential, either. And forget about mentioning land reparations.  Let's just open the border, it'll be good for... well someone. Businessmen for one. Turks also, since they will be the winners in their struggle for denial. What talk of genocide when the Armenians themselves stop mentioning it?

With this agreement the Turks hold the upper hand, not the Armenians. The relevance of the Armenian cause has been severely damaged. Armenians in the Diaspora need to wake up and realize what's happening, especially those in the US who are too hung up on the fact that Obama didn't say the G-word. There's a lot more at stake to worry about right now. The Sarkisian administration is on the verge of closing the argument for recognition of the Genocide by Turkey forever. These are dangerous times. Armenia's future as a nation and a nation-state are at a turning point, but it's not too late to shift the balance away from Turkish appeasement. 

Armenia doesn't need to please Turkey. Nothing is going to be gained for Armenia by the unconditional opening of the border without setting some things straight first. But President Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Nalbandyan beg to differ. Well, I'm convinced they're wrong, and I'm praying that millions of others like me want them to engage the emergency brake, then ask, "What is it exactly that we are doing, and what do we really want?"


They all come from former Soviet countries, they all marry foreigners, they all start a new life in a new country, which leads us to the observation that all Russian brides who decide to tie a knot with a man from a different country are definitely brave.