Armenian president reveals conditions for opening Armenian-Turkish border
16:20 • 17.11.16
The Armenian-Turkish border could only be opened with mutual consent of Armenia and Turkey, without any preconditions, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with RIA Novosti.
“I may be citing an unpopular example. But any wedding requires consent of both sides. In this case, we cannot say the issue has been settled fifty percent. Nothing depends on us in this respect,” Mr Sargsyan said.
Armenia has long since been ready for improving relations.
“Until 2009, even our friends used to tell us we suffered from a ‘genocide complex’ and did not want any relations with Turkey as long as they refuse to admit the Armenian Genocide. But we did that step, did not we? Can you understand my circumstances when I travelled round the world and had meetings with representatives of the Armenian Diaspora? In Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Beirut thousands of Armenians took to the streets against Armenia’s president and demanded that the protocols not be signed,” President Serzh Sargsyan said.
“The result is that they do not honor their commitments they themselves signed. What else can be done? To bow to the wishes and say: ‘Yes, let’s allow Azerbaijan establish control of the security zone’, and Turkey will open the borders. And then? A conflict may break out in three months, in a year, in a half year, and they will close the border again. It does not depend on us, does it?” Mr Sargsyan said.
Back in 2008, Armenia offered Turkey to announce a negotiating process and in 2009 the sides signed two protocols.
“And in Zurich, in the presence of the foreign ministers of three UN permanent member-states, the two protocols were signed. Regrettably, later developments showed Turkey was not prepared to ratify the protocols or establish relations with Armenia without preconditions,” Armenia’s president said.
“And they began setting preconditions: ‘Armenia must persuade Nagorno-Karabakh to cede at least one ‘occupied region’ (as they labeled the regions) to Azerbaijan. That is, part of the security zone. And then Turkey would be ready to establish relations and open the borders. Since we agreed and the two protocols clearly indicated that we were supposed to establish relations without any preconditions, our answer was: ‘Sorry, but we should have talked about it before we signed [the protocols] that is, during the negotiations.’ And we have not since had any relations with Turkey. If we meet at international forums somewhere, we just greet one another. That’s all.”