Armenia Will Never Stop Persuit of International Genocide Recognition, Says Foreign Minister

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Armenia never stopped and will never stop pressing for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian told a news conference in Yerevan Wednesday.

"We just want normal relations with our neighbors and stand for normalization of relations with Turkey without preconditions. President Sarkisian’s invitation is a good will gesture, which should never mean that we question the fact of Genocide, the Minister said. "We will not make concessions regarding the recognition of Turkey’s borders or in the Nagorno Karabakh issue either. Now, we are waiting for Turkey’s response."

Turkey severed its ties and closed its border with Armenia in 1993 as a token of solidarity with Azerbaijan in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Ankara also says the normalization of ties depends on Armenia’s formal recognition of the current borders with Turkey and changing its policy of calling for the worldwide recognition of the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

In a sign of readiness to normalize ties, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian proposed "a fresh start" in relations with Turkey in an article published in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month.

Sarkisian also invited Gul to a World Cup qualifying match between Armenian and Turkish teams on September 6.

Nalbandian also spoke about Georgia-Armenia relations during the press conference, assuring reporters that Armenia is closely following unfolding events in Javakhk related to the arrest of 20 Armenian activists from the United Javakhk Democratic Alliance.

"We are in contacts on different levels and directions, the relevant attention will promote the quick solution of the issues," he said. "Armenia is making every effort to consolidate and develop Georgian-Armenian relations"

"We also underscore the issues of Georgian Armenia’s and hope that those issues will be solved. I am sure that there cannot be any issue to which we will not manage to find solution," Nalbandian explained. "I am sure that our joint efforts will be directed towards building good-neighborly relations and a warm and friendly partnership based on the interests of the two countries."

Nalbandian said that he is planning to visit Georgia on September 13-14.

He will also be in Moscow on August 1 meeting with his Azeri counterpart Elmar Mammedyarov. The meeting is being organized by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, who will hold separate meetings with each foreign before the main meeting between all 5 parties.

Nalbandian and Mammedyarov re set to discuss the suggestions presented in "Madrid" document over which the presidents of the two countries agreed to continue the negotiations during their meeting in St. Petersburg on June 7.

"We assessed that meeting as positive and constructive and hope that we will continue going forward in that way as it may give an opportunity to find solutions," Nalbandian said.


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