Gul Still Undecided on Armenia Soccer Match

KARS (ArmRadio)–Turkish President Abdulla Gul was in Kars on Wednesday where he said that he has yet to decide whether or not he will accept President Serzh Sarkisian’s invitation to come to Yerevan in September to watch the Turkish and Armenian national soccer teams compete in a World Cup qualifier match, Mediamax news agency reported.

Gul’s statement came in response to questions asked by Armenian Reporter and Aztag Daily Correspondent Tatoul Hagopian following Gul’s meeting at Kars’s City Hall. Gul was in Kars Wednesday for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Turkish section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad.

"I, first and foremost, thanked Armenia’s president for the invitation, but we still have not made a decision," Gul said. "Our policy is clear. We seek to establish friendly relations and cooperation between all the countries in the region."

"The existing issues need to be solved," he said, adding that Turkey wishes to see stability in region.

But stability in the region is impossible when neighbors speak to neighbors through ultimatums, ARF Supreme Council of Armenia Representative Armen Rustamian told reporters Wednesday during a press conference at Armenia’s National Press Club.

"Turkey’s preconditions for the normalization of relations with Armenia are ultimatums and are unacceptable to the Republic of Armenia and the ARF," he said. "It is very dangerous if the Genocide becomes a subject of debate in this regard."

"We must not allow Turkey to create an illusion about the existence of relations [with Armenia]," he told journalists. "If Turkey’s president comes to Armenia, the ARF…will say that a neighbor does not speak in ultimatums with a neighbor."

According to Rustamian, this is not an issue of the past. It is an issue of the future and is of direct concern to the national security of the country.

If Turkey wishes to normalize relations with Armenia, then it must take steps in line with international standards, Rustamian remarked.

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