Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan embarked on a weeklong intercontinental tour of major Diaspora centers late Thursday amid mounting protest among those communities against his latest overtures to Turkey.

Deputy chief of presidential staff Vigen Sargsyan (no relation) said the goal of the president’s “Pan-Armenian Tour” is to meet and listen to the opinions and approaches of the Armenian Diaspora towards the ongoing process of normalization between Yerevan and Ankara in the light of the initialed protocols on diplomatic ties and bilateral relations that the two estranged neighbors are expected to sign later this month.

President Sargsyan hopes his meeting with leading representatives of Armenian communities abroad will allay longstanding concerns about several key points of the protocols, in particular the provision on the establishment of a Turkish-Armenian intergovernmental sub-commission to study historical discrepancies that primarily include the 1915-1918 genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and the clause that commits Armenia to recognizing its existing border with Turkey.

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