No announcement yet.

Armenian minister in favour of improving ties with Turkey

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Armenian minister in favour of improving ties with Turkey

    Armenian minister in favour of improving ties with Turkey

    Haykakan Zhamanak, Yerevan
    1 Jul 04

    Text of Anna Akopyan report by Armenian newspaper Haykakan Zhamanak on
    1 July headlined "The attitude was normal"

    An interview with [Armenian] Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan.

    [Haykakan Zhamanak correspondent] Mr Oskanyan, although you assessed
    the meeting with the Turkish and Azerbaijani foreign ministers
    positively, you said that the meeting did not yield any tangible
    results. Nevertheless, Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan said that they
    view the meeting as an opportunity to get the frozen processes in the
    South Caucasus out of deadlock.

    [Vardan Oskanyan] Maybe they had such a purpose, but the fact is that
    there was no progress as a result of the trilateral meeting. Erdogan
    did not say that there was progress, but he thinks that the meeting
    might lead to progress. This trilateral meeting was not only
    connected with the Karabakh issue, it was much more expanded.

    [Correspondent] The resolution by NATO member countries says that NATO
    highly appreciates Georgia and Azerbaijan's rapprochement with NATO
    and the fact that they have individual action programmes. There is no
    word about Armenia in the resolution. In this sense, how do you assess
    Armenia's further potential in developing relations with NATO?

    [Oskanyan] This is the next step of cooperation with NATO, which
    Azerbaijan and Georgia have already taken and want to establish. We
    are discussing that issue and will inform NATO after taking a

    [Correspondent] After your meeting with Turkey's Foreign Minister
    Abdullah Gul, you said that although Turkey has a great desire to
    improve its relations with Armenia, the political moment is not ripe
    for them yet. Is that moment ripe for Armenia?

    [Oskanyan] I said it is not ripe in Turkey because they cannot show
    political will. In response to the objections of some circles, I can
    say that Armenia wants and is ready to regulate its relations with
    Turkey without pre-conditions.

    [Correspondent] Recently [Armenian President] Robert Kocharyan told
    Turkey from a high rostrum that they are wrong if they think that we
    cannot live and develop without them. Today from another high rostrum
    you said that Turkey plays a big role in the Caucasus, including in
    Armenia. Was this sector of your speech directed at softening the
    impression made by Kocharyan's speech?

    [Oskanyan] No, it was not. In fact, today we do not depend on Turkey,
    our economy is really developing. Even if Turkey decides to perpetuate
    this situation forever, I think we shall continue to develop at quite
    a quick pace. So for Armenia the improvement of relations with Turkey
    is not a problem of life and death. Simply, we do not see any reason
    not to have normal relations with our neighbours. As for Azerbaijan,
    everything is clear here - there is the Karabakh conflict and it
    should be settled, then we can start improving relations. As for
    Turkey, in a bilateral sense, there is no obstacle that does not allow
    us to have normal relations. That is, on the one hand, if Turkey
    continues this way, this will not create a deadly situation for
    Armenia, and on the other, it is always desirable to have friendly
    relations with neighbours, which will certainly open wider
    opportunities for economic development. But it should be stressed that
    Turkey also needs to open the border and improve relations in the
    economic and political sense, especially in terms of being present in
    the Caucasus, because Turkey has such a desire and wants to play such
    a role in the region. But it cannot do so only because it cannot
    establish normal relations with Armenia, so this is a bilateral way.

    [Correspondent] Mr Oskanyan, do you not think that after Robert
    Kocharyan's speech in Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
    [PACE], Turkey demonstrated a pronounced attitude towards our
    delegation and you as its head? You seemed to be displeased while
    boarding the airplane.

    [Oskanyan] It was a very normal attitude, and my meetings with the
    Turkish authorities, mainly with the foreign minister, were very
    warm. I also had an opportunity to have a very warm conversation with
    Turkey's prime minister. Their attitude towards Armenia was warmer
    than necessary.