YEREVAN—Armenia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday issued a statement in which it suggested that Ankara was not ready to normalize relations with Armenia.
Since Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian last week reiterated President Serzh Sarkisian’s statement about Armenia’s intention to declare the Turkey-Armenia protocols null and void by this spring, a new back-and-forth has begun between official Yerevan and Ankara about the issue.
On Thursday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement lamenting Armenia’s position, saying that Ankara was ready to normalize ties with Armenia when there is a resolution to the Karabakh conflict that is beneficial to Azerbaijan.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry’s statement is provided below.
The December 14th comments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey regarding the Armenian-Turkish relations is yet another flagrant example of distortion of the letter and spirit of the Zürich Protocols of 2009.
Our position on President Sarkisian’s initiative to normalize relations with Turkey was expressed in the well-known approach to normalize relations without preconditions. Based on this common understanding with the Turkish side we launched the negotiation process and reached agreements.
It is well known that right after the signing of the Protocols Ankara backtracked from the agreements. Turkey not only has rejected to ratify those Protocols, but has returned to the same language of preconditions that it had used before the launch of the process. The last statement of the Turkish MFA goes in the same direction.
Ankara doesn’t shy away to voice once again its preconditions, linking the Armenian-Turkish relations to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement in favor of Azerbaijan, at the same time making redundant reference to the UN Security Council resolutions, which have nothing to do with the negotiation process of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution. It is well known, that there is no single word on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict or any precondition in the Protocols. By returning once again to the language of preconditions following the signing of Protocols, Turkey has opposed to the international community, which has always supported the normalization of the Armenian Turkish relations without preconditions and continues to do so now.
The Turkish side refused to ratify the Protocols and intentionally moved the whole process to the stalemate. This was the very reason that compelled Armenia to suspend the ratification procedure, while staying in the normalization process, and this was duly acknowledged and welcomed by the leaders of different countries
It is obvious that even today, years after signing of the Protocols, Ankara is not ready yet to normalize the Armenian-Turkish relations.
It does not come as a surprise that the Turkish authorities stick to stereotyped approaches and are trying to voice fabricated allegations. For more than a century the leadership of that country denies the Armenian Genocide. Is it easier to take the sin for the century-old great crime committed in the Ottoman Empire by continuously denying it, instead of recognizing it and thus rendering an important service to its own people, to the future of the region and to the prevention of future genocides?
Ankara goes the opposite direction. The statement of the MFA of Turkey claims that allegedly the efforts to recognize the Armenian Genocide are morally and legally incorrect and ill-intentioned. It turns out that Turkey preaches morality to France, Germany, Austria, Russia, Uruguay, Belgium, Greece and to dozens of other countries, which have recognized the Armenian Genocide.
It is ironic that Turkey, one of the most notorious countries of the world in restricting freedom of expression, tries to justify the genocide denialism on the grounds of freedom of expression.
It has always been clear for different world capitals both after the signing of the Protocols and today that the ball is on the Turkish court, that Armenia has done everything possible for the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations. Ankara’s inability to accept this and other realities consolidates the sense throughout the world that Turkey and the international community speak in different languages.
We would like to reiterate that this is the very reason why the President of Armenia declared at the UN General Assembly that since the Protocols continuously lack any positive progress towards their implementation, in the spring of 2018 Armenia will declare them null and void.