Armenia’s focus on 2015, not mending ties: Turkey

Armenia’s focus on 2015, not mending ties: Turkey

Armenia’s focus on 2015, not mending ties: Turkey

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

Turkey remains committed to normalizing its relations with Armenia, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has stated, while underlining that Turkey will be monitoring Armenia’s “accelerated campaigns” in third countries, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the mass massacres of Anatolian Armenians, which many countries recognize as genocide.

“There is no change in our willingness for a normalization of relations with Armenia,” Çavuşoğlu said, adding that Yerevan has “preferred to not positively respond Turkey’s well-intentioned attempts. Instead of aiming to move the normalization process forward, Armenia has chosen to intensify its energies on activities for the anniversary of the 1915 incidents.”

His remarks came yesterday as he responded to questions from lawmakers at Parliament’s planning and budget commission, which was reviewing the Foreign Ministry and the EU Ministry’s 2015 budgets.

“2015 [the anniversary of the 1915 killings] is neither a beginning nor an end. Turkey is acting with a long-term strategy and is assessing 2015 coolly, with a broader perspective,” he said.

Meanwhile, elaborating on Ankara’s relations with Athens, the minister said the attention of the Greek public was being “intentionally” directed to ties with Turkey due to domestic politics in Greece, with upcoming elections in the country set or 2015.

Nevertheless, Turkey attaches importance to maintaining positive momentum through its High Level Cooperation Council with Greece, he stressed. The council’s next meeting is set to be held in Athens on Dec. 5-6.