Irina Hovannisian le/1850773.html

President Serzh Sarkisian will press for a speedy implementation of
the newly signed Turkish-Armenian agreements during his landmark
visit to Turkey on Wednesday, a senior pro-government lawmaker in
Yerevan said on Tuesday.

Sarkisian and his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul are due to hold
face-to-face talks and have dinner before watching the second leg of
a World Cup qualifier between Turkey's and Armenia's national soccer
teams in the northwestern city of Bursa. The two leaders will then
attend a reception given by Gul.

In the words of Razmik Zohrabian, deputy chairman of the ruling
Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Sarkisian plans to raise with Gul
the mandatory parliamentary ratification of the two protocols that
were signed in Zurich over the weekend. The protocols envisage the
establishment of diplomatic relations and the reopening of the border
between the two estranged neighbors.

"This may be the last meeting of the two leaders before the
parliamentary ratifications," Zohrabian told RFE/RL. "They will be
talking not only about football at their meeting. They will also be
talking about Turkish-Armenian relations, about how to have the two
parliaments endorse this document."

Sarkisian said on Saturday that Yerevan will take "appropriate steps"
if Ankara fails to push the documents through the Turkish parliament
"within a reasonable timeframe." He also warned the Turks against
linking the ratification process with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

According to Zohrabian, the Armenian side may well annul the agreements
if they do not come into force "before next spring." "If the process
drags on, then we could declare the signed document null and void in
accordance with international law," he said.

Zohrabian also played down nationalist street protests that could greet
the Armenian president in Turkey. He argued that Gul himself faced
peaceful demonstrations by Armenian nationalists when he visited
Yerevan in September last year. "There will be similar protests
against Serzh Sarkisian in Turkey," he said.