TURKEY DRAGS OUT PROTOCOL RATIFICATION - SARGSYAN

Interfax
Feb 15 2010
Russia

Turkey is deliberately dragging out the ratification of the
Armenian-Turkish protocols, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in
an interview with Al Jazeera during his visit to London on February 10.

Not only us but also everyone else is wondering why Turkey says that
Armenia is dragging out ratification. In fact, Turkey is doing that,
he said.

Being the leader of the parliamentary majority party, I rule out
a ratification failure at the Armenian National Assembly if Turkey
ratifies the protocols without preconditions, he said.

Once the protocols are ratified, a new process will start, Sargsyan
said.

We will open the border and form an intergovernmental commission with
sub-commissions when the ratification process is over. The ratification
is the beginning, not the end, Sargsyan said.

The opening of the Armenian-Turkish border is important for the United
States and Russia, the president said.

That is why the United States, Russia and the European Union assist
this process. It is not only the question of opening the border,
it is also the question of bilateral relations, he said.

Asked why U.S. President Barack Obama did not keep his election
promise to recognize the 1915 events in the Ottoman Empire as Armenian
genocide, Sargsyan said that Obama did not change his opinion.

He wished though that the U.S. president used the word 'genocide'
in the context of the events that happened in 1915.

The Turkish and Armenian foreign minister signed protocols on the
establishment of diplomatic relations and the development of bilateral
relations in Zurich in 2009. The parliaments are considering their
ratification.