ARTAK SHAKARYAN: ANKARA SEEKS TO KEEP ARMENIA-TURKEY PROCESS HALF ALIVE

PanARMENIAN.Net
31.03.2010 16:31 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Should Armenia-Turkey rapprochement process fail,
recommencing it will be possible in 5-6 years only, according to
expert Artak Shakaryan.

As he told a news conference in Yerevan, failure of the process will
deteriorate bilateral relations, making the situation even worse that
it was before the signing of Protocols.

Ankara will undertake further steps to drag out the dialogue, being
more interested in the process than in the result. "Ankara seeks to
keep the Armenia-Turkey process half alive. Still, ratifying at least
one of the protocols would be a smart move. Turkey could do so if
only to demonstrate its intention to continue the process," he said,
adding that, obviously, Turkey participates in rapprochement process
while under pressure.

"The outcome of the process mostly depends on the oncoming visit of
Armenian President to Washington in April, where he'll participate
in global nuclear security summit," the expert noted.

At the same time, Mr. Shakaryan stated that the failure of
Armenia-Turkey reconciliation will not affect Turkey's bid for EU
membership. "Ankara has too many problems for a closed Armenia-Turkey
border to affect its image," he said.

The Protocols aimed at normalization of bilateral ties and opening of
the border between Armenia and Turkey were signed in Zurich by Armenian
Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet
Davutoglu on October 10, 2009, after a series of diplomatic talks
held through Swiss mediation. On January 12, 2010, the Constitutional
Court of the Republic of Armenia found the protocols conformable to
the country's Organic Law.