Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has again accused Turkey of foiling a rapprochement that would end nearly a century of feud between the two neighboring states.
He stressed that Ankara “has wasted its stock of confidence as a partner in negotiations” by advancing preconditions and breaking the agreed terms of the process that came to a standstill last month.
Sarkisian made the statement during a Tuesday meeting with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen as part of his continuing visit to Belgium, his press office reported.
The Armenian president late last month announced the suspension of the parliamentary ratification of the Turkish-Armenian normalization protocols in Armenia and in doing so, in particular, cited Ankara’s repeated attempts to set preconditions and its failure to honor commitments regarding the timeframe of the ratification of the deal.
In his address to the nation in late April, Sarkisian, however, said he had decided not to withdraw Yerevan’s signature from the agreements inked last October at the request of the United States, Russia and other foreign powers that have strongly supported his policy of rapprochement with Turkey.
Sarkisian heads a delegation including Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, Economy Minister Nerses Yeritsian and other officials on a working visit to Belgium May 25-27. In Brussels the Armenian leader has been scheduled to hold a series of meetings with top European officials, including President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso. Meetings with representatives of the Armenian organizations of Belgium and the Netherlands are also planned.
Sarkisian and NATO’s secretary general on Tuesday discussed issues pertaining to Armenia-NATO cooperation. Both sides, as reported by the Armenian president’s press office, praised progress made in these relations in the past decade.