Interfax, Russia
July 31 2009

U.S. congressmen concerned about Turkey's position on relations with
Armenia

YEREVAN July 31


Eighty-two U.S. congressmen have sent a letter to U.S. President
Barack Obama, in which they accused Turkey of failing to fulfill its
obligations to normalize relations with Armenia without any
preconditions.

"We write to you [Mr. President] with our concerns about Turkish
backpedaling on the agreed upon roadmap to normalize relations between
Turkey and Armenia," the letter says, according to the Armenian
Assembly of America.

"While the Government of Armenia remains committed to this roadmap and
has long offered to establish ties with Turkey without preconditions,
Turkey's public statements and actions since April 24th stand in sharp
contrast to this agreement and undermine U.S. policy that
normalization take place without preconditions," the letter says.

The letter was signed by 82 U.S. congressmen representing both the
Republican and the Democratic Party.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said this Tuesday that he would
accept an invitation from his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, to
attend a soccer match in Turkey in October "only on condition of open
borders [between Armenia and Turkey] or if we are on the threshold of
lifting the blockade of Armenia."

"Under the current circumstances, the Armenian side expects
constructive moves to provide an appropriate atmosphere for the
visit," Sargsyan told Tuesday's news conference.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference, "We
continue to remain decisive in the process of Turkish-Armenian
relations."

"The speed of this process depends on how clearly the parties are able
to conduct dialogue. Turkey's only wish is normalization of all
relations in the region, We need to rid the region from
tensions. After that, our communication in this direction will
continue," he said.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul visited Yerevan at the invitation of
the Armenian president in September 2008. The two countries' national
football teams had a game during that visit. Another such game is
scheduled to take place in October, and Sargsyan has been invited to
it.