Turkey to Stall Process for Concessions, Says Hovannesian

hovannesian3YEREVAN (News.am)—Turkey will stall parliamentary ratification of normalization agreements signed with Armenia to “squeeze” Yerevan into making concessions in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, a leading member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) said Friday.

Speaking to reporters, Vahan Hovannesian, the head of the ARF faction in parliament, stressed the growing concern of his party over the Armenian authorities’ poor handling of negotiations with Turkey.

“Both Turkish top-ranking officials and international lawyers have repeatedly stated that Turkey will be the main beneficiary of the Armenian-Turkish protocols,” Hovannesian said. “They will try to squeeze some more drops from a squeezed orange by holding wide-ranging discussions on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue as a precondition.”

Hovannesian’s remarks come less than a week after Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey’s parliament will not ratify normalization agreements with Armenia unless Yerevan agrees to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Azerbaijan’s favor. Davuroglu’s remarks, given in English during a televised interview with Aljazeera, follow similar statements made repeatedly over the course of the negotiation process by Turkey’s President and Prime Minister.

It is obvious, Hovannesian said, that Turkey will “try to reap dividends from this propaganda, while Armenia’s leadership continues to stay silent like a cat.”

The ARF Parliamentarian also pointed public opinion polls in Turkey regarding relations with Armenia. Early in the negotiations process, he said, nearly 70% of Turkish society was against the Armenia-Turkey protocols, whereas now, nearly 70% is in support of normalization. “This shows how effective [Turkish] propaganda has been because the Turkish society now understands they will gain,” Hovannesian said.

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