YEREVAN, December 13. / ARKA /. An Armenian parliament member from the ruling Republican Party has downplayed today the purported significance of a visit to Armenia by Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu saying it was aimed to create an illusion of a thaw in Armenian -Turkish normalization process.
According to Artak Davtyan, every step of Turkey is designed to pursue its own interests. He said as Armenians around the world are preparing to mark the centennial of the Armenian genocide committed by the government of Ottoman Turkey, Davutoglu arrived in Armenia to show that Armenia and Turkey are in a process, which will eventually lead to the establishment of friendship and peace in the region.
Davutoglu was in Yerevan yesterday to attend the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization’s meeting of foreign ministers. It was first high-level visit to Armenia in nearly five years by a Turkish official. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with Azerbaijan during the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Armenian foreign minister Edward Nalbandian said before meeting Davutoglu in Yerevan that "relations between Armenia and Turkey should be settled without any pre-conditions," meaning Armenia does not want Turkey to tie a bilateral rapprochement to a resolution of the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Davutoglu and Nalbandian met for an hour on the sidelines of the BSCE meeting but neither issued a statement after the meeting. Davutoglu held a press conference with the Turkish media who arrived in Amenia to cover his visit.
Speaking at the same news conference a political scientist Andrias Ghukasyan downplayed an alleged intrigue in Davutoglu’s visit to Armenia saying he came simply to participate in a BSEC gathering hosted by Armenia.
He said the intrigue was in the meeting of Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers which means they had some things to discuss. “Everyone knows that Turkey conditions normalization of relations with Armenia on progress in Nagorno-Karabakh problem and since Armenian authorities are not accountable and transparent , we have to guess only what they could have discussed, " he said. -0-