Wednesday, December 19, 2007



The Armenian-Turkish relations are complex and Armenia must consolidate the burden of the past with the requirement of the present to live in a stable and peaceful region, Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanyan told a parliamentary hearing on the Armenian-Turkish relations today. He also said the issues of the past may be tackled in case of normal diplomatic relations and open borders. However, Turkey wants to tackle the issues of the past first and after that it is ready to lift the border. In the presentation of the Armenian foreign minister, even in Europe there are countries that have problems with each other but they do not try to solve them by shutting down the borders and by putting preconditions.

He divided the Armenian-Turkish relations into several stages. In the first phase (1991-93) the Armenian-Turkish border was open but Turkey refused to enter into diplomatic relations with Armenia demanding recognition of Turkey’s frontiers and refusal from the Armenian genocide.

One must recall that during those years and until 1998, Armenia did not make the issue of genocide as part of its foreign policy agenda.

In the second phase (1993-98) when the Armenian forces occupied territories in Karabakh war, Turkey closed its border with Armenia and proposed a third demand – to free the mentioned territories. In the third phase that covers the period of 1998-2007, the mentioned three preconditions remained valid and strengthened even more since the issue of genocide has appeared in the foreign policy agenda of Armenia.

In the words of the foreign minister, none of the three preconditions stand any criticism from the “international point of view.” In Oskanyan’s words, Turkey is not a party of Nagorno Karabakh conflict and cannot put preconditions. Second, Kars and Moscow agreements of 1921 are still effective where the borders of our countries are outlined and Turkey’s demand to recognize its borders are groundless. As far as the recognition of the genocide is concerned, the recognition of the genocide by the parliaments of other countries is their internal affair and Armenia does not interfere, the minister said.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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