Turkey Slams Sarkisian’s Overture for Normalization
YEREVAN, ANKARA (Combined Sources)—Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday slammed efforts by Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, who in a letter addressed to his Turkish counterpart, urged Turkey to honor its commitment to the protocols.
In his letter to Gul, Sarkisian said: “It is high time to demonstrate the willingness to take a step forward in order to leave a stable and secure region to future generations.”
“Our initiative to normalize Armenia-Turkey relations is in the spotlight of the international community. This is truly a historic moment, and the entire world realizes it. The efforts of the countries involved in the region are invaluable in the process of improvement of bilateral relations. I’m confident that it would be impossible to register progress without their mediation. At the same time, I do believe that no matter the level of interest by friendly states for a positive outcome of the process, there are certain steps that can be taken only by our two nations,” said Sarkisian, whose office issued the letter while he was flying over Turkey on an official visit to Great Britain.
“I think you’ll agree that the authorities are to play a key role in breaking the stereotypes between our peoples and establishing an atmosphere of mutual trust. It is only with trust in our efforts, resoluteness and adherence to our principles that we can achieve results. Otherwise, when the words and deeds contradict one another, it brings about mistrust, thus opening a vast field for those who oppose the process. We have to realize that, in this process, time is not working for but against this process,” added Sarkisian.
“If up to now, we have managed to elevate bi-lateral relations to a point, from where the future of normal relations between our countries becomes more real and tangible, today, it is high time to demonstrate the willingness to take a step forward in order to leave a stable and secure region to future generations,” added Sarkisan.
Turkey’s Davutoglu was quick to react and said that Yerevan was not displaying a positive approach to the protocols, saying “It is customary to send messages like that while flying over other states. The leaders of all states do so,” said Davutoglu, as reported by Haberturk news agency.
Davutoglu cited the Armenian Constitutional Court’s decision, which, last month, verified the constitutionality of the protocols, but noted that the process cannot be linked to the Karabakh conflict resolution, nor can it impede Armenia from pursuing the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
“The Armenian Constitutional Court’s decision is not constructive and following these changes the relations between the two countries are again back to where they were in the past,” said Davutoglu, as reported by the Azeri Trend news agency.
The Turkish foreign minister insisted that continuing the process would be impossible “unless Armenia backs down from its non-constructive position.”
Davutoglu also said that a recent decision by the US House Foreign Relations Committee to vote on the Armenian Genocide resolution pending in Congress would greatly hinder the normalization process.