Turkey is Benefiting from Armenia’s Diplomatic Gesture, Says Hovanessian

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–Turkey is reaping the benefits of Armenia’s diplomatic gesture toward establishing friendly relations with its neighbors, said Armenian Revolutionary Federation Parliamentary Bloc chairman and Bureau member Vahan Hovanessian during a press conference Thursday.

The ARF leader said the invitation from President Serzh Sarkisian was a prudent effort to demonstrate to the international community that Armenia was willing to establish relations with all its neighbors.

However, Hovanessian said, Turkey is utilizing that effort for its own gain by mounting an aggressive campaign to claim the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is not part of Armenia’s agenda.

Such efforts by Turkey will slow the international recognition process, said Hovannesian who wondered why Armenia’s leadership has been silent on that front. He urged Armenia’s government to immediately counteract Turkey’s effort by expressing confidence that Armenia has not made any agreemen’s with Turkey on any matter, including the swap of lands for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

"I consider that it is the expression of the frequently noticed passivity of our diplomacy. We have seen a lot of this," he said.

Hovannisian said that the ARF discusses these issues with its coalition partners, but added that it is more advisable that such issues should be discussed by the National Security Council.

"If political forces see that no common approach emerges within the coalition regarding these issues, they may draw their conclusions. But I must say that there is no such issue yet," Hovannisian concluded.

"Not only the ARF, but all political forces and the entire Armenian nation is opposed to Turkey having any role in the Karabakh conflict resolution," added Hovanessian when speaking about recent overtures by Turkey and Azerbaijan for including Turkey in the Minsk Group or allowing Turkey to lead the resolution process.

Hovanessian said Turkey has always had a pro-Azerbaijan policy and the blockade of Armenia was the most glaring example of that policy. With the blockade Turkey has already become a non-objective side to the conflict, therefore its participation in the process is unacceptable.

"Armenia’s leadership must to everything possible to ensure that the Minsk Group continues its efforts toward the resolution of the conflict," said Hovanessian.

In addressing Turkey’s proposed Caucasus stability pact, Hovanessian said that while efforts to establish peace and stability were admirable, the entity proposing such a pact must have an objective approach to all players in the region. Turkey, he said, has not demonstrated that.

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