U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL CALLS ON TURKEY TO OPEN BORDER WITH ARMENIA
Daniel Fried, the United States Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European Affairs, during a press briefing held today, commented that, " We think that Turkey ought to open the border with Armenia and restore normal relations."
Continuing the official said, " We're pleased by recent steps Turkey has taken, like restoring the Armenian Church in eastern turkey, even if as a museum."
Fried described Turkey as a "good ally" and a country where the transformation towards democracy has lately taken deep roots. According to Fried, it is this growing "freedom of expression" that has permitted a greater discussion in Turkey about its past, especially the mass killings of Armenians in 1915.
In conclusion Fried commented that, " We encourage them (Turks) to examine their history and the painful, what can be called "dark spots", and they're not the only country that has them. The U.S. has plenty of its own."
Now, what is painfully apparent to the astute reader is the double speak of this U.S. bureaucrat.
This is the same Daniel Fried who on March 15, 2007 stated that passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution would " undercut those voices emerging in Turkey who call for a truthful exploration of these events in pursuit of Turkey's reconciliation with its own past and with Armenia."
This is the same Daniel Fried who that same day attempted to hold the Armenians in Turkey hostage by stating that passage of the Genocide Resolution at this time would only serve to threaten their security .
While we agree with Fried's call for Turkey to open the border and sit down with Armenia to normalize relations, with no preconditions, the fact remains that, We have to admit this is the United States encouraging its Turkish ally to undertake some necessary
" damage control " and not much else.
Then too, the entire Akhtamar Church restoration farce, which Fried points to as an example of Turkey's desire for reconciliation, was nothing more than a base public relations move on the part of Turkey to appease the conscience of various European powers on the eve of Turkey's ascension negotiations regarding the European Union.
What forces in Turkey does Fried consider " open to exploring Turkey's dark spots"? Those handful of intellectuals who have broached the Armenian Genocide issue have either left the country for fear of their lives or have been intimidated into silence. Is this the flowering of democracy that Fried so eloquently speaks of?
The degree of Fried's hypocrisy boggles the mind but is to be expected on the eve of April 24th. In essence not much has really changed!