Turkish FM Says Protocols to Be Signed Before Soccer Match

ANKARA (Anatolian)—The protocols on establishing diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey will be signed before the October 14 World Cup qualifying soccer match between the two countries’ national teams, Turkish Foreign Ahmet Davuoglu told a press briefing on Wednesday.

Davutoglu was speaking to reporters to discuss his meetings on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York and the foreign policy agenda for October.

Asked whether the border crossing would be opened for the day of the game, Davutoglu said, “we need to assess the process to make a decision to open the border crossing.”

Davutoglu was also asked to comment on the prospects of Turkey’s EU bid following recent elections in Germany that brought to power opponents of Turkish accession.

“Those are the elections reflecting the free will of the German people. Therefore, we have to respect them,” Davutoglu said. “On the other hand, any election cannot cause a radical change in the rooted relations between Turkey and Germany. Turkey-EU relations are also based on international commitments. We do not suppose that the results of any elections could affect those commitments.”

Turkey’s ailing bid for EU membership is said to face greater difficulties following the win of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Germany’s recent elections. The FDP’s replacement of the pro-Turkey Social Democratic Party (SPD) will allow Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has long favored a “privileged partnership” rather than full membership for Turkey, to become more vocal in her opposition to Ankara’s EU entry.

“It is not possible to separate domestic and international developments from each other in today’s international conjuncture,” Davutoglu said, responding to another question on whether the German elections would be discussed during Turkey’s meetings with the EU in October. “Turkey is a state of law. And the norms of this state are certain. No one can have legal privileges. I hope that we will overcome this problem without a crisis.”


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