ANKARA (WSJ)–The Wall Street Journal Tuesday afternoon reported that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview that the signing of the Armenia-Turkey protocols was not dependent on progress of talks to be held Thursday in Moldova between the Armenian and Azeri presidents.
“The agreement will be signed on Oct. 10. It doesn’t have anything to do with what happens in Moldova,” Erdogan told the Wall Street Journal Sunday.
Erdogan also said the two processes — a resolution of the Karabakh conflict and rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia — remain linked, and that a positive outcome in Moldova would help overall. Turkish officials have continued to indicate the border could take longer to open than the three months set out in the three-page protocol.
The Turkish leader said the only obstacle to signing the deal on Saturday would come if Armenia seeks to alter the text. “This is perhaps the most important point — that Armenia should not allow its policies to be taken hostage by the Armenian diaspora,” Mr. Erdogan said. Much of Armenia’s large diaspora opposes the protocol.
A spokesman for Armenia President Serzh Sarkisian declined to comment on whether Armenia would seek changes to the protocol. He said the government would make a statement on “steps” concerning the protocol soon.
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