Demoyan Calls for Opening of Kars-Gyumri Railway

YEREVAN–The director of the Dizdzernagapert Armenian Genocide Museum Institute on Monday urged Turkey to open the Kars-Gyumri railway as a sign of good faith to Armenia, which has been waiting patiently for a concrete response from Turkey since President Serzh Sarkisian invited his Turkish counterpart to Yerevan in September, reported Armradio.

The opening of the railway, idle since Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993, would be a solid gesture by Turkey, showing that it is in fact willing to cooperate with Armenia, Hayk Demoyan said, speaking to reporters during a press conference.

Earlier in August, Armenia’s railway authorities launched a major repair project of the Armenian section of the Kars-Gyumri railway station in anticipation of an eventual opening of the link connecting the two neighbors.

Demoyan said the meeting between Sarkisian and Turkish President Gul can be considered the apex in Turkish-Armenian relations.

But there has been a significant decline in the level of bilateral activity between the two countries since September with Turkey attempting to exploit the situation for political gains, Demoyan explained.

The Turkish side should not link any issue connected with the improvement of relations with Armenia to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he said, in reference to Ankara’s attempts to hinge the normalization of relations to a resolution of the conflict benefiting Azerbaijan.

“We are still waiting for Turkey’s response,” to Armenia’s initiative for normal relations, Demoyan said, stressing that the two sides must immediately begin talks on the opening of diplomatic representations in both countries

Demoyan’s remarks came as Armenia’s Foreign Minister was in Istanbul for a meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC). Nalbandian was scheduled to meet with his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan Monday evening for talks on the development of their two countries’ relations.

The meeting between Babacan and Nalbandian, according to Demoyan, is not expected to yield any breakthroughs on the issue of relations.

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