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POLITICS > Yerevan reacts to Ankara’s remarks on reviving relations

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

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President Abdullah Gül (L) shakes hands with Armenian President Serzh Sargisyan (R) in Bursa in this file photo.

President Abdullah Gül (L) shakes hands with Armenian President Serzh Sargisyan (R) in Bursa in this file photo.

Vercihan Ziflioğlu Vercihan Ziflioğlu vercihan.ziflioglu@hurriyet.com.tr

The Armenian Foreign Ministry and opposition parties have reacted skeptically to the Turkish foreign minister’s recent remarks on reviving the two state’s relations, saying they have “heard this old song before.”

“Four years have passed since the initialing of the Armenian-Turkish protocols and since then the Armenian side has constantly heard the same old song from Ankara about some creative approaches,” Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman Tigran Balayan told ArmInfo news agency on Oct. 11, referring to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s remarks on the issue. 

“All these statements are nothing other than a permanent attempt by Ankara to veil the Turkish side’s torpedoing of the ratification and implementation of the Armenian-Turkish protocols without preconditions, which is expected by the international community,” Balayan added. 

His statements came a day after Davutoğlu said Turkey was looking for “creative ideas” to develop relations with Armenia, adding that Ankara gave a lot of importance to the normalization of ties.
Davutoğlu also said Turkey would increase efforts on the issue in the coming months. Two politicians from Armenia’s opposition parties also reacted to Davutoğlu’s statements. “Turkey has to take steps showing that it is determined to follow these remarks. But it cannot, because Baku is determining Turkey’s policies on this issue, rather than Ankara,” David Shahnazaryan, the head of Armenian National Congress, told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday. “Turkey cannot take any steps without taking permission from Baku,” Shahnazaryan also said, adding that Turkey only aimed to “gain time” from the international community with these remarks and would not take any concrete steps. 

Ardashes Shahbazyan, a spokesperson for the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) party, also said even if Davutoğlu was sincere in his remarks, Armenia could not reach an agreement with Ankara as long as Nagorno-Karabakh remained a precondition. “Davutoğlu knows Nagorno-Karabakh will never be the subject of negotiations, but they [Ankara] will often repeat similar remarks, even after 2015 [the 100th anniversary of the 1915 incidents]. Their real aim is not to revive relations,” Shahbazyan said yesterday.

October/15/2013

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