WASHINGTON (Combined Sources)—Turkey and Armenia allegedly have agreed to be “silent for some time” and evaluate a new, “brilliant” idea on the table regarding Turkey-Armenia relations, Turkey-US Inter-parliamentary Friendship Group and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) foreign relations deputy chairman Suat Kınıklıoğlu said Wednesday, reported Today’s Zaman.
Speaking at an event hosted by a think-tank in Washington, Kınıklıoglu said: “There is something new on the table. I cannot go into detail, but there is a brilliant proposal on Turkey-Armenia relations and it is up to the Armenians to accept or reject this,” according to Today’s Zaman.
“We are very close to the normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations. I am for the normalization of our relations with Armenia. The normalization will take place with the political will of the Turks and Armenians,” Kınıklıoglu added, as reported by Today’s Zaman/
Two members of Armenia’s ruling Republican Party called the Kiniklioglu’s assertion false and a lie.
Armenian National Committee of America Governmental Relations Director Kate Nahabedian was at the event and asked Kiniklioglu to clarify the reasons why Turkey signed the protocols if it had no intention of abiding by its “no pre-conditions” principle.
“Thank you for raising the issue of the protocols I am one of the most outspoken proponents of the protocols. Indeed in 2009 we thought we were very close, but the process is continuing and no one at the outset thought it was going to be easy,” said the Turkish leader.
Saying that no one thought the process would be easy, Kinikiaoglu offered: “Let’s look at the positives, now we have two documents in detail outlining how normalization should take place.”
“I think we have a much more psychologically ready atmosphere on both sides that normalization is possible and can take place. Actually, Azerbaijan has, in recent months, shown a much more constructive and positive attitude to the extent that I continue to be optimistic as I was in 2009,” explained Kinikiaoglu.
“Now let me footnote. Turkey is not blockading Armenia. The land border is closed with Armenia. The land border is closed. Blockading is something very different. Airspace is open, there are—every week—I don’t know how many aircraft landing from Armenia, trade is continuing through Georgia to Armenia and people to people contact, be it an NGO or intellectuals, is continuing. Now let’s be fair and not use the word blockade. Turkey is not blockading Armenia. The land border is closed,” explained Kinikiaoglu.