By Anush Martirosian, Ruzanna Stepanian
YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — The Constitutional Court upheld on Tuesday the legality of Armenia’s normalization agreements with Turkey amid continuing protests staged by nationalist groups opposed to the deal.
The widely anticipated verdict paved the way for the agreements’ ratification by parliament. The National Assembly is not expected, however, to start debating the two “protocols” before their endorsement by Turkey’s parliament.
The Constitutional Court handed down the ruling several hours after it started examining their conformity with the Armenian constitution. The session was open to the media for only four minutes.
The court decided that the examination will follow a “written procedure” that does not involve public hearings and verbal questioning of government officials and experts. The court chairman, Gagik Harutiunian, announced that the panel of nine judges will only consider written statements submitted by the Armenian Foreign Ministry and other interested parties.
“This is an issue which has an exceptional significance,” he said. “All those written documents that have been submitted to the Constitutional Court are available in the deliberations room and the members of the court can take them into account.”
Harutiunian added that they would also look into a nine-page petition from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and other vocal opponents of the Turkish-Armenian protocols. “I am convinced that the members of the court will also familiarize themselves with it during the examination to clarify their legal positions,” he said.