YEREVAN, January 22. /ARKA/. No progress can be reached in relations between Armenia and Turkey until the latter withdraws its preconditions, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan said Wednesday summarizing the results of 2013 at a news conference.
“As we met on December 12, 2013 in Yerevan, the Turkish foreign minister repeated what he said three or four years ago and what resulted in ceasing the processes and steps aimed at settlement of the bilateral relations,” he said.
Nalbandyan stressed that if Turkey remains stuck to its present stance, then other three or more years will be lost in the settlement process.
“We will be waiting till Turkey becomes ready to settle relations with Armenia without preconditions, and this attitude is supported by the international community,” he said.
The foreign minister also said that he had also discussed with his Turkish counterpart the marking of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide this year, but saw that Turkey had not changed its stance on the matter.
There are no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey. The border between the two countries was closed in 1993 at Ankara’s initiative.
Relations between Armenia and Turkey remain tense because of Ankara’s biased stance on Karabakh problem and its painful reaction to Armenia’s efforts to obtain worldwide recognition of the fact of Armenian Genocide. Thaw in Armenian-Turkish relations began in 2008 on Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s initiative. On October 10, Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers signed the protocols on establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and development of bilateral relations. The protocols had to be ratified by the two countries’ parliaments, but on April 22, 2010, the Armenian president, seeing that Turkey was dragging its feet, signed a decree ceasing the process of ratification. He said Turkey was not ready to continue the process. Ratification process remains frozen.
Armenian genocide was the first genocide committed in XX century. Turkey rejects the accusation of massacres and the killing of one and a half million Armenians during World War I. The fact of the Armenian genocide is recognized by many countries, particularly by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, most of the U.S. states, as well as by the parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium, Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Common House of Canada, the Seym of Poland and lower house of Italian parliament. -0----