U.S. Presses Armenia for Quick Results in Turkey Negotiations

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YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Armenia and Turkey to complete the normalization of bilateral relations within a “reasonable” period of time as she met with the two countries’ foreign ministers late on Monday.

The Turkish-Armenian dialogue was a key focus of her separate talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Armenia’s Eduard Nalbandian held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Clinton praised both governments for their “strong commitment” to pushing forward the process hailed by the international community and United States in particular. “I want to reiterate our very strong support for the normalization process that is going on between Armenia and Turkey, which we have long said should take place without preconditions and within a reasonable timeframe,” she said after meeting Nalbandian.

Clinton later delivered a similar message to Davutoglu, according to U.S. officials cited by Western news agencies. “When we say reasonable ‘time frame,’ we mean just that, that it’s not just the process that we want to see,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon was reported to tell journalists. “We welcome the process, but we also want to see a conclusion to the process and that’s what we’re underscoring when we say that.”

Turkey has linked the normalization of Turkish-Armenian ties to a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict acceptable to Azerbaijan. Armenian leaders fear that Ankara could still avoid implementing two fence-mending agreements with Yerevan if international efforts to settle the dispute yield no breakthrough in the coming months.

The agreements, which envisage the establishment of diplomatic relations and the reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border, are due to be signed by October 14. The documents need to be ratified by the parliaments of both countries before they can take effect.

According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Nalbandian thanked Clinton for Washington’s strong support for the ongoing Turkish-Armenian rapprochement that began shortly after President Serzh Sarkisian took office in April 2008. Clinton underscored that support when she telephoned Sarkisian to discuss the process on September 19. It was their second phone conversation in a month.

In Gordon’s words, Washington hopes that Sarkisian will accept Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s invitation to watch with him the return match of the two countries’ national football teams that will be played in the Turkish city of Bursa on October 14. “We think it would be a good thing if he attended it, reciprocating the attendance of the Turkish president of the match when it was in Armenia,” the diplomat said.

“This is a difficult process that faces some political opposition in both places and it’s hard for both governments,” added Gordon. “It shouldn’t wait for other things to get done, or be linked to other things. It should go ahead.”

Nalbandian sounded cautiously optimistic on that score in his speech at the General Assembly earlier on Friday. “The process of the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations … promises to bear fruit despite all difficulties,” he said.

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9 Comments

  1. Grigor Melikyan said:

    Do not trust Philip Gordon he is another Mathew Bryza look alike, both are joker diplomats. As for Hillery Clinton, she is trying to make a name for herself at the expense of interests of Armenians. How did all these clowns ended up in American politics? Armenians are dealing with clowns and clowns have no say in any
    Armenian issue. We already have two clowns Serzh Sargsyan and Eduard Nalbandian which must be kicked out of Armenian politics and additional clowns are not needed at all.

  2. Mihran Keheyiian said:

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Armenia for quick results as wants the back of Armenia and the total capitulation of Armenian rights, she has found an Armenian traitor to do the dirty work namely Serzh the corrupt so called president

    Mihran

  3. Philip said:

    Doesn’t clinton know that the Armenians in America are strongly against the protocols? Is she blind, deaf or both?? Has she read the protocols? Does she know how to read and comprehend? Anyone who can read and comprehend what they read, about the protocols, can see that its vague and it doesn’t spell out what it really is trying to say. Just because the Armenian government is accepting these protocols, doesn’t mean that the Armenian people are accepting it. A government is for the people. We have a huge Diaspora because of the genocide that was committed by the Turks and events leading after the genocide. American government should look at its Armenian American citizens and hear their voice and make a judgment based upon what they say. Clinton has no right to push for these protocols to pass. I have only one question to clinton and the government: Are you a friend of Armenia and the Armenian people??? STOP PUSHING FOR THE PROTOCOLS TO PASS!!!!

  4. Serge said:

    I have a question, does anybody know if this idiot Serge Sarkisian decides to sign the protocol, can he be stopped by any constitutional power or any lawful means?

  5. NM said:

    Hillary Clinton and her governement never recognised the armenian genocide however they are very keen and pushing, pressing and urging Armenia to sign on the protocol very soon on 10 October, Why? Of course only for US, Turkey and Azerbaijan interests. And why very soon? Ex. the Cyprus issue is still on going. A catastroph is waiting to Armenia and Armenians with this protocol therefore Armenia categorically should say NO. They had put us infront of ”Fait a complis” and a weak governement with Sargsyan and Nalbandyan can sign on whatever they are getting imposed by US and co. Armenia should do like Israel neglecting whatever they are getting imposed to and they are succeeding. /NM

  6. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    Obama amoral politics leads to nothing. Obama administration thinks Armenia-Turkey rapproachment will be a good basis to 1) end the Iraqi war with dignity, 2) enter South Caucasus to support Mr. Sahakashvili at the name of NATO against Russia. Obama is going to lose. The Russian Gambit via Armenian Paws is going to be crucial for Obama/Clinton politics in the Middle East. NATO is beginning to decay. Turkey will collapse. Armenia will suffer in the way Jesus did. Russians will rejoice.
    jeshmarid@yahoo.com

  7. James H. said:

    Just look at her. She’s screaming phony, self-important devil in disguise.
    Even Nalbandian is taken aback by this ghamajeeg.
    Why are we giving these spineless opportunists the time of day?

  8. Areg Mansuryan said:

    Armenians will never trust Hillary Clinton and her gang leader Philip Gordon. These two are bad news for Armenia. U.S.A. has one thing and only one thing left to do and it is finally to reaffirm and recognize the fact of Armenian Genocide. The U.S. can not and must not betray the just cause of Armenian Nation.

  9. jerrysabounjian said:

    what is it with our state dept.? why is that opening of this border so important to the U.S.? if they have any hidden motives we americans need to know.

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