U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has reassured Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian that the United States will continue to seek a quick and unconditional normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, official Yerevan said on Friday.
The two met in London Thursday on the sidelines of an international conference on Afghanistan. Turkey’s threats to stall on the parliamentary ratification of the Turkish-Armenian agreements over a controversial ruling handed down by Armenia’s Constitutional Court were apparently high on the agenda.
“Hillary Clinton reaffirmed U.S. support for the process of normalizing relations between Armenia and Turkey and a speedy ratification and implementation of the signed protocols,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said Nalbandian reiterated for his part that the court ruling only testifies to the Armenian leadership’s commitment to the letter and spirit of the protocols. “He added that Armenia expects the same approach from Turkey,” it said.
The Turkish government has denounced the ruling as an attempt to re-write key provisions of the protocols. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stood by this claim when he met Clinton in London on Wednesday. “I am of the opinion that the United States better understands Turkey's concerns,” “Hurriyet Daily News” quoted him as telling journalists on Friday.
“We believe [the court ruling] brings restrictions to the protocols. We raised our expectation that the process should not be blurred,” Davutoglu said, commenting on his short conversation with Nalbandian on Thursday. “We have open-mindedly exchanged our views,” he added.
While in London, Davutoglu also met with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov. He welcomed on Friday “progress” in the international efforts to broker a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “If some other concerns emerge from domestic politics, we will move further from the peace vision,” the Turkish minister noted without elaboration.
According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Clinton and Nalbandian also discussed the Karabakh peace process. It said Nalbandian briefed Clinton on the results of this week’s meeting in Russia of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents.