WASHINGTON (Combined Sources)—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a press conference Friday that the process between Turkey and Armenia to normalize their relations were continuing on course. Although there have been no concrete steps taken by either state since late April, Clinton said Washington strongly supports the so-called “roadmap” process.
Clinton was speaking after a Friday meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu at the State Department.
With Switzerland standing as observer, Turkey and Armenia jointly said April 22 that they would work to normalize their relations and that a road map had been drawn up for that.
Although it has not been made public, the road map is believed to include a set of steps, including the creation of full diplomatic ties, and more importantly, the opening of the two neighbors’ land border.
At the Washington meeting with Foreign Minister Davutoğlu, Clinton struck a hopeful note that the normalization would take place.
“I have been very encouraged by the progress that has been made and by the commitment of the governments involved. Certainly Turkey and Armenia, with the assistance of the Swiss government, have committed themselves to a process of normalization,” said Clinton.
“We’re well aware that this is difficult. It requires patience and perseverance. But we have seen no flagging of commitment,” she said. “We believe that a lot of progress has been made in a relatively short period of time to resolve issues that are of long standing.”
Clinton said that Azerbaijan and Armenia were also working on the Karabakh problem.
Davutoğlu said: “we are fully committed to our normalization process with Armenia.”
He also said that “on the main regional issues like the Middle East, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Caucasus, Black Sea, and all the relevant issues, we have a common agenda.”
“I am very happy to see that we have very identical, similar approaches to many of these issues,” he said.
Clinton reiterated Washington’s support for Turkey in the fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) and her backing for Turkey’s eventual membership to the European Union.