Noyan Tapan
May 26, 2009

In 2008 Armenia pinned its hopes on "football diplomacy," as it was
a new approach to Armenian-Turkish relations. As Democratic Party
of Armenia (DPA) Chairman Aram G. Sargsian said at the May 26 press
conference, "football diplomacy" was also necessary for Turkey for
some time for the European Union to weaken its pressure on that
country. And when the President of France declared inadmissibility
of involving Turkey in EU, the Turks changed their tactics to Armenia
and put forward preconditions on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

"The preconditions should have been put forward from the very start
for everybody to understand what question and demand one side has to
another," A. Sargsian said. According to him, in any case, it would
be clear what the Armenians want, what the Turks are against. The
DPA Chairman also said that Armenia should have proposed Turkey
implementing joint programs in various spheres, as well as creating a
free economic zone. Maybe those proposals would not be carried out,
however, according to A. Sargsian, the world would see that Armenia
strives for improving its relations with Turkey.

The DPA Chairman also touched upon the Nagorno Karabakh negotiations
saying that neither Madrid nor Key West principles are acceptable for
the Armenian side. According to A. Sargsian, if the Armenians agree
to the proposal of holding a referendum in Karabakh in some time,
the whole way Artsakh passed will be annihilated by that. In his
conviction, today it is unequivocally necessary to return Karabakh
to the negotiations table. As to the forthcoming meeting of the RA
and Azeri Presidents, according to A. Sargsian's prediction, it will
not differ from the previous meetings.