YEREVAN — Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has recalled from parliament protocols on the normalization of ties and the establishment of diplomatic relations with neighboring Turkey.

In a statement issued on February 16, Sarkisian said he had asked parliament speaker Galust Sahakian to return the protocol to him since “the Turkish government has no political will, distorts the spirit and letter of the protocols, and continues its policy of setting preconditions.”. The letter reads, in part:

“When launching the process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations without preconditions, we were fully aware of all possible scenarios of future development. We were ready for both comprehensive normalization of relations through ratification of the protocols and their failure. We had nothing to conceal, as it would become clear to the world which party was guilty of missing the chance to open the last closed border in Europe.

Almost six years have passed from the signing of the Armenian-Turkish protocols. Throughout this period Armenia has consistently backed the realization of the protocols.

However, we cannot but stress the lack of political will on the part of Turkey, the distortion of the letter and spirit of the protocols and the continuous attempts to pose preconditions. Parallel to that, on the threshold of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the policy of denial and revision of history gains new momentum.

I have said on many occasions that time is not inexhaustible. I last did it from the podium of the UN General Assembly in September 2014. It’s a pity that this call failed to reach the Turkish leadership.

Therefore, I have decided to recall the protocols on the “Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey” and “Development of Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey” from the National Assembly.”

Nalbandian and Davutoglu signing the protocols in Zurich
Nalbandian and Davutoglu signing the protocols in Zurich

There are currently no diplomatic relations established between Turkey and Armenia: official Ankara closed the border in 1993. The uneasy relationship between the countries is caused particularly by Ankara’s support to Azerbaijan on Karabakh conflict and Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey signed protocols about establishing diplomatic relations in Zurich on October 10 2009 to be ratified by the parliaments. On April 22 2010 president Sarkisian suspended the ratification process saying Turkey was not ready to continue the process.

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