YEREVAN — Foreign minister of Armenia Ara Aivazian, commenting on the statement of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to which Turkey is ready to develop relations with Armenia based on mutual respect, has noted that actions, not words, are important for Armenia.

“We are familiar with the Turkish president’s letter and the readiness expressed in it,” said Foreign Minister Ayvazian. “But I must say that we attach importance not only to words but also actions.”

“There have already been similar messages [from Ankara] in the past. There was even a signed bilateral document which never had a continuation,” he told a news conference with Lithuania’s visiting Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis.

In a weekend letter to Istanbul’s Armenian Patriarch Sahak Mashalian, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his administration stands ready to “develop” Turkish-Armenian relations “on the basis of the principles of good neighborliness and mutual respect.”

Erdogan did not specify whether Ankara still sets preconditions for establishing diplomatic relations with Yerevan and opening the border between the two states.

Erdogan sent his letter to the spiritual leader of Turkey’s small Armenian community on the 106th anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. He again offered his condolences to the descendants of Armenians who “died in the difficult conditions created during the First World War.”

Recognition and condemnation of the Armenian genocide is important not only for restoring historical truth and justice, but also in terms of physical security of the Armenian people, Aivazian said at the press conference.

“I fully agree with the opinion expressed in Joe Biden’s statement that the international community should take practical steps to prevent such an atrocity from ever again occurring,” Aivazian said.

He noted that Armenia is one of the forerunners in promoting the international agenda of preventing and condemning genocides. “Biden’s message is a huge contribution in that regard,” he said.

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