Nov 2 2009

In establishing relations with Turkey, Armenia's leadership encounters
numerous challenges at the same time, said EU Special Representative
for the South Caucasus Peter Semneby in his interview to the Russian
daily Vremya Novostey.

That opposition which is present in the process of establishing
relations with Turkey, according to Semneby, is not from inside
Armenia but comes from Armenians leaving abroad. "That is the reason
why I don't expect the possibility of an explosion inside Armenia.

However, that is a very serious problem for the leadership, since
the Diaspora, which is of much importance for Armenia, doesn't have
an unequivocal attitude towards the establishment of Armenian-Turkish
relations. It is necessary to ensure the Diaspora's consent, [while]
also not ignoring the opinions of Armenians living in Armenia. The
latter have their demands, which are mainly socio-economic in nature."

Stating that one cannot ensure the border will open 100 percent,
Semneby expressed confidence that it will take place anyway.

"That is an issue of life importance for Armenia. It is also in
Turkey's interests. Turkey started the process not because of good
neighbourly disposition towards Armenia but because it's acting in
its own interests. Naturally, not ignoring Azerbaijan's interests is
also important for Turkey. But, after all, bringing the process to
its end is in Turkey's interests," Semneby stated.