RA FOREIGN MINISTER NALBANDIAN GAVE AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW TO BBC TURKISH SERVICE
By Hakob Chaqrian

AZG Armenian Daily
30/10/2008

Armenia-Turkey

Armenian Foreign Minister answered the questions of BBC Turkish
service. In an exclusive interview published on bbcturkish.com website,
he touched upon Armenian-Turkish relations, Karabakh issue, Russia's
position, the atmosphere in Azerbaijan and the factor of Diaspora.

In connection with the trilateral meeting of Armenian, Azerbaijani
and Turkish Foreign Ministers on October 26 in New York, RA FM
said, "The idea of the meeting belongs to respectable Babacan. He
submitted the proposal while being in Yerevan with the intention of
discussing the initiative of the "Caucasian stability and cooperation
platform". The discussions are taking place in the framework of the
OSCE Minsk Group. It is an influential institution supported by the
international community. Though we are anticipating liveliness in
Karabakh conflict settlement discussions, according to me, it is not
conditioned by Armenia-Turkey dialogue. The process of normalization of
relations with Turkey has started and I am very optimistic about it".

To the question, "How do you qualify RF President Medvedev's initiative
to organize a meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in
Moscow?" Nalbandian answered, "Russia has always played a constructive
role in Karabakh negotiations; the ceasefire in 1994 was signed with
the mediation of Russia. In 2001 we were close to reconciliation but
Heydar Aliyev said that the Azerbaijani people were not ready for it".

To the question, "What do you think, are they ready now?" RA FM
mentioned, "Unfortunately, according to the results of a survey carried
out recently in Azerbaijan, 30 percent of the country's population
demand military solution to Karabakh issue. Supporters of war in
Armenia are below 1 percent. And it is because of the Azerbaijani
military advocacy".

What about Armenian-Turkish relations, Edward Nalbandian said,
"According to me, there are no real obstacles to normalization of
our relations. We anticipate establishing of diplomatic relations
and opening of borders. After it we may create an intergovernmental
commission to discuss the available issues of bilateral relations".

To the question, "How to persuade the Armenian Diaspora?" Nalbandian,
without underestimating the factor of Diaspora, answered, "We cannot
disregard the Diaspora, like the opinion of the societies of Armenia
and Turkey. I cannot say that everybody will be content with the
reconciliation with Turkey. Anyway, I think that the leaders of the
two countries will assume the responsibility in the interests of our
peoples and region, and they will take unusual decisions".

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress