YEREVAN — On April 24, the day of commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Armenians will be joined at Tsitsernakaberd by representatives of the international community, including heads of countries Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian said in an interview with Russia 24 Channel.
Speaking about the Armenian-Turkish relations, Sarkisian said: “We have never posed any preconditions for normalization of relations with Turkey, not even the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. A few years ago I tried to reach a normalization, but the Turkish party refused from its commitments because of some reason, and failed to ratify the two protocols signed in Zurich.”
The President said he sent a letter to his Turkish counterpart, inviting him to Armenia on April 24 for 100th commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. “The Turkish authorities not only refused to attend the events, but also extended an invitation to participate in the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Battle”
“It’s known to everyone that the battle in Gallipoli did not start or end on April 24, and Turkey never marked the anniversary on April 24,” President Sarkisian said.
The President added he can’t say how many people in Turkey are willing and ready to recognize the Armenian Genocide and get rid of that heavy burden. “But we see a positive move, and I’m grateful to those Turkish citizens, who have started the movement,” Sarkisian stated.
Armenian officials once again spoke about Baku’s deconstructive moves and their consequences in Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, and added that they share co-chairs opinion – we must prepare the people not to war, rather to peace.
During the interview on Monday, Armenian President Sarkisian reiterated his government’s position that the only viable solution to the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan is through negotiations based on the seven-year old agreements outlined in an OSCE Minsk Group document.
The president told Rosia 24 channel’s “Opinion” program that the Armenian position is routinely challenged by aggression instigated by Azerbaijan in border fighting that has intensified over the past several months.
“Unfortunately, the Azerbaijani government does the exact opposite (than negotiate). We all witnessed the tense situation which started last summer,” the president said underlining that outside monitors blame Azerbaijan.
At the same time, Sarkisian addressed the probability of restarting war in Karabakh, saying that he “is personally afraid of war, but not afraid of fighting”.