Turkey Must Acknowledge Past for Progress in Relations, Says ARF Leader

YEREVAN–Progress in Armenian-Turkish relations is unlikely unless Turkey acknowledges its past and recognizes the Armenian genocide, a leading member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation said Friday.

Armenia continues to offer Turkey an opportunity to normalize relations without preconditions, Aghvan Vardanyan, a member of the ARF Bureau, said

“But its unclear what Turkey’s motives are,” he added, noting that it continues to hinge normal relations on a series of preconditions, which include Armenia renouncing its campaign for international genocide recognition and ending its support of Nagorno-Karabakh’s right to self determination.

Commenting on Turkey’s attempts to become a mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace talks, Vardanyan said Ankara cannot become a mediator in the conflict.

“The possibility of Turkey’s participation in talks has become a topic of hot discussions recently but the fact is that Turkey can only facilitate a resolution by influencing Azerbaijan,” Vardanyan explained.

“Present-day Turkey pursues a flexible foreign policy and advocates its interests throughout the globe. It put forth its Caucasus stability and cooperation pact immediately after the war in South Ossetia. Now, after the U.S. presidential election, it wants to moderate its relations with the U.S. and Iran,” he said, adding that a new US president has given Armenia the possibility to build constructive relations with Washington, Moscow and Brussels.

Commenting on the declaration signed on November 2nd in Moscow between the presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia, Vardanyan said he doesn’t see any changes in the negotiations process. “Concerns over the frozen conflict in Karabakh arouse after the South Ossetian war. This declaration was meant to emphasize the role of Russia in resolution of this conflict, which will hardly be resolved during the coming months.”

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