YEREVAN — Armenia will evaluate positive signals coming from Turkey and will respond in kind, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said at the start of his cabinet’s meeting in Yerevan on Friday.
“There have been certain public positive signals from Turkey. We will evaluate those signals and respond to those signals with a positive signal,” the Armenian prime minister said.
During a meeting with foreign ambassadors accredited to Turkey earlier this week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that if Armenia takes positive steps to establish peace in the region, Turkey will respond adequately.
Earlier, Pashinyan said that overcoming hostility may not interest some other countries of the region, but it should be on Armenia’s agenda.
“Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia consider each other partners and friends. We are friends with Georgia and Iran, but the fact that we are the object and subject of hostility in the region irrevocably affects our relations with the countries, which are our friends,” he said.
On December 24, 1991, Turkey officially recognized the Republic of Armenia, but still refuses to establish diplomatic relations with it. In 1993, Turkey unilaterally closed its air and land borders with Armenia in solidarity with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The Armenian-Turkish border is the only closed border in Europe.
In 2009, Yerevan and Ankara attempted to normalize their relations, signing protocols to establish diplomatic relations and re-open the border. But the protocols were never ratified, while the brief rapprochement came to a close in the subsequent years.
The air border was reopened in 1995 under pressure from the international community. For the opening of the land border and the establishment of diplomatic relations, Turkey puts forward a number of unacceptable conditions, in particular, saying that Armenia must quit seeking the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, committed by Turkey during WW I.
In its five-year action plan approved in the parliament this week the Armenian government said, however, that it supports the establishment of relations with Turkey without any preconditions.