Turkey Still Committed to Preconditions in Armenia Talks

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ANKARA (Combined Sources)–Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Wednesday the Turkish government is still “resolute” in its drive to normalize relations with neighboring Armenia, but reiterated that the Turkish-Armenia border will not open until the Karabakh conflict is solved in Azerbaijan’s favor, the Anatolia news agency reported.

The top Turkish diplomat told a press conference after his meeting with visiting Bosnian Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj that the Turkish government is hopeful about the normalization of ties with Armenia.

“We believe that the most extensive normalization would be seen in our region in the coming period,” Davutoglu said. “But at the same time, it is important for us to see the same determination from the international community and especially from Armenia on the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

Davutoglu’s remarks come a day after Armenia’s President, Serzh Sarkisian, insisted that Ankara must reopen the Turkish-Armenian border and make concrete steps toward ending its blockade of Armenia before the stalled negotiations can continue.  Sarkisian was set to travel to Turkey in October to attend a Turkish-Armenian soccer match, which would continue the so called “soccer diplomacy” begun last October when Turkish President Abdullah Gul travelled to Armenia in September 2008 to watch 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier match

Turkish intransigence in the negotiations process has brought the year-long US brokered talks between the two countries to a standstill as Ankara seeks to convince international mediators that a quick resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process is the key to saving Armenia-Turkey negotiations.

Speaking to the Turkish service of RFE/RL on Wednesday, Matthew Bryza, the American co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group mediating the Karabakh conflict said he regretted that “the activeness we witnessed in the Armenian-Turkish relations recently, is frozen today,”adding that he believed the “the existence of the Karabakh conflict exerts a negative influence on the Armenian-Turkish relations.”

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4 Comments

  1. Hye4life said:

    I am glad S. Sarkisyan made that comment “if borders are closed he will not attend to watch the football match”. It is obvious that Turkey is dragging its feet and going to do whatever it takes to keep Armenia isolated and keep their azeri cousins happy. But Armenia should keep being vocal about this and constantly bring this up for the international community to know that the ball is in Turkish court and they are the ones to make the move, we have done our part. If we were good at politics we could have utilized the stale tactics used by the turks to let the world know that turks are just blowing smoke and they have no intention to normalize ties. Turks got what they wanted when they convinced Armenia to sign the Roadmap agreement on April 22, this way successfully not allowing Obama to use the Genocide word. So far we got nothing out of it. Once again if we were good at politics we could have used Turk’s “bait and switch” politics against them, but since we don’t we just keeping making the same mistakes over and over again. Very disappointed.

  2. Samvel Jeshmaridian said:

    Davutoglu is smarter than Matthew Bryza.
    But Secretary Clinton is wiser than Davutoglu’s boss.

  3. Serge said:

    I hope this will serve as a lesson to our goverment to not trust Turkey anymore. As always turks stabbed us in the back. I wonder how long this stabbing should be carried out till we wake up and smell the blood.

  4. Vahé M. said:

    I don’t see the Artsakh/Karapagh situation being resolved any time soon in the absence of an all-out conflict. Thus, Turkey was just blowing smoke the entire time. What crap! Who needs “friends” like that?

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