The subject of normalizing relations between Armenia and Turkey came up during an online press conference on Tuesday with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who wondered out loud whether Ankara and Baku “want to continue the policy of Genocide.”
“We want to normalize relations with Turkey,” Pashinyan said. “But we also want to ask a question to Azerbaijan and Turkey: Do they want to destroy Armenia? Do they want to continue and complete the genocide of the Armenian people?,” Pashinyan told reporters, amid reports that Ankara is imposing more preconditions on normalizing those ties.
“I want Turkey and Azerbaijan to respond clearly—not in words but in deeds—whether they want to annihilate the Armenian people, whether they want to destroy Armenia’s statehood, whether they want to continue the policy of genocide. If yes, what choice do we have, except for resistance? If not, then they are right, there is a historic opportunity to establish peace and stability in this region,” added Pashinyan.
With Ankara imposing more preconditions on Yerevan for normalizing ties, Armenia announced that there are no talks planned with Turkey.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vahan Hunanyan said there was no negotiation process with Turkey.
“As stated in the government’s action plan, Armenia has always been ready to normalize relations with Turkey without preconditions. A number of international partners, including our ally Russia, have stated that they are ready to assist in that process. During discussions with our Russian partners we have informed the that we are ready for the normalization of the relations without preconditions,” Hunanyan told Armenpress.
“If and when the process goes ahead, we, of course, will inform the public about the developments. At the same time I want to note that there is no negotiation process with Turkey at this moment,” added Hunanyan.
Armenia’s Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan told the French Le Figaro newspaper last week that Ankara is imposing new preconditions, in addition to demanding that Yerevan recognize Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity that includes Artsakh.
Mirzoyan said the new precondition imposed by Ankara stipulates that Turkey will normalize relations with Armenia if Yerevan agrees to Azerbaijan’s proposal to create the so-called “Zangezur Corridor”—a road linking mainland Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan and Turkey.
Armenia’s Foreign Minister told the French newspaper the the corridor issue cannot be a subject of discussion, echoing similar sentiments expressed by Pashinyan.
“States must allow transit while maintaining sovereignty over their territory. All transport links in the region must be reopened,” Mirzoyan told Le Figaro, according to a transcript of the interview issued by the foreign ministry on Saturday.
Another scheme being pushed by Ankara and Baku is the so-called “3+3” plan, which envisions a regional power base involving Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkey and Iran.
During a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Pashinyan told reporters that it is important for Armenia that the so-called “3+3” issue is not not brought up in other talks related to settlement of regional issues that are already being discussed through other international efforts, citing the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs mediation for a resolution to the Karabakh conflict.
He also emphasized that commission set up on January 11 to address the opening of transit and other communication links in the region, also not address the “3+3” scheme.
Last week, Georgia’s foreign minister announced that Tbilisi is opposed to the “3+3” scheme, essentially rejecting the effort.