Serge Sarkisian, PM of Armenia, and Erdogan, Turkeys PM, are drawing up a normalization draft, set to introduce embassy's, diplomatic relations from both trade to regional security and so on. Its the first diplomatic attempt from both countries together after the Ngorno Karabahk conflict, in which Turkey shut its boarders with Armenia in a sign of support to Azerbaijan.Armenia's President Serge Sarkisian faced a largely hostile reception later on Tuesday from members of Lebanon's Armenian community, up in arms over Yerevan's plans to establish ties with Ankara.
Sarkisian's brief stop in Beirut is part of a week-long international trip aimed at calming concerns among members of the Armenian diaspora over Turkish-Armenian efforts to normalize relations. But such plans have angered many in Lebanon's 140,000-strong Armenian community, mostly made up of the descendants of survivors of massacres in eastern Anatolia under Ottoman rule almost a century ago. "After nearly 100 years of fighting for our cause, how can our enemy become our friend in the blink of an eye?" said a visibly angry Koko Marashlian, a store owner in Beirut's Armenian neighborhood of Burj Hammud.
Hagop Pakradounian, one of six Armenian deputies in Lebanon's parliament, said the community was all for improved ties between Armenia and Turkey but not at any price. "This issue concerns Armenians worldwide and not just those in Armenia," Pakradounian told AFP. "We are not talking about a simple economic accord between two countries but a historic one that concerns each Armenian family, whatever its nationality," he said.
However, Armenians world wide are condemning Sarkisans attempts at diplomatic normalization with Turkey, saying it should not be accepted and Armenia should not have diplomatic relations with Turkey until it can admit the Armenian genocide, saying accepting a normalization would undermine the past atrocities commited against the Armenians, and those killed.
Turkey, however, believes Armenians we're killed in the masses along with Ottoman Turks, after Armenians took up arms in Eastern Turkey to create an autonomous region, the latter actually being true, but whether Armenians and Turks where killed in conflict remains to be the disputed issue, and if the events can really be coined as a genocide or not.
The supporters of normalization on the Armenian side, however, insist trade between the Turkish and Armenian boarders will boost Armenian economic wealth, availibility of market goods in Armenia and also bring wealth and security to the region.
The draft bills to be drawn up for normalization comes without conditions, though Turkey has back-tracked a bit on this promise, assuring the Azeri's it will not open its boarders until the Ngorno Karabahk issue is resolved between Armenia and Azerbaijan, though if Turkey will pull through on the normalization procedure with or without the issue being resolved is yet still unclear. The draft bills on both sides need to be accepted in Parliament, with Sarkisian facing huge opposition though the major parties have agreed to support the draft.