EU SHOULD ENCOURAGE RATIFICATION OF ARMENIA-TURKEY PROTOCOLS BY TURKISH PARLIAMENT

PanARMENIAN.Net
30.11.2009 15:57 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ European Friends of Armenia held a policy briefing
at its Brussels office with H.E. Mr. Arman Kirakossian, Deputy Foreign
Minister of Armenia responsible for International Organizations and
Armenia-Turkey relations. Key representatives of European Institutions,
Brussels-based think-tanks, NGOs and mass media, as well as diplomats
took part in this event. The focus of Mr. Kirakossian's speech and
the subsequent discussion was on recent developments in and around the
South Caucasus, especially improvements in Armenia-Turkey relations.

"I am very happy that Mr Kirakossian is explaining the situation here
in Brussels because people here need to understand that we are in a
historic window of opportunity. The EU needs to use all its means to
encourage Turkey to ratify the protocols or this historic opportunity
to solve one of the Caucasus disputes with diplomatic means will soon
be lost forever." said EuFoA Secretary General Dr Michael Kambeck.

"The ratifications are in the interest of Armenia, Turkey, the EU
and everyone who seeks peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

President Gul should not hide behind his parliament, because everyone
knows that he has a huge majority in his parliament", he added.

EuFoA suggests that both countries fix a date to ratify the
protocols on one day, with prior test votes insuring a majority in
both chambers. EuFoA furthermore seeks an involvement of the EU to
supervise and guarantee the correct implementation of the protocols
- so far no such guarantor exists and the texts could be open to
interpretations after ratification.

Deputy Minister Kirakossian was directly involved in recent talks
between Armenia and Turkey and he informed about the current status of
the rapprochement process and possible next steps. He explained why
Armenia sees the Turkey-Armenia rapprochement as a unique process,
which should not be linked to the resolution of other conflicts in
the region, as this essentially would render all linked issues to be
unsolvable. Views were widely shared by participants that the issue
of the Armenia-Turkey rapprochement and the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh
need to be addressed totally separately, EuFoA said in a press release.