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Turkey Says Armenian Step To Withdraw Protocols ‘Wrong And Unfortunate’


Foreign Ministers Eduard Nalbandian of Armenia (L) and Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey sign landmark agreements to normalize Turkish-Armenian relations in Zurich, 10Oct2009.

Foreign Ministers Eduard Nalbandian of Armenia (L) and Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey sign landmark agreements to normalize Turkish-Armenian relations in Zurich, 10Oct2009.

Ankara will remain committed to protocols signed between Turkey and Armenia aiming to normalize bilateral relations, a Turkish Foreign Ministry representative has said after Yerevan recently decided to withdraw the 2009 protocols from the Armenian Parliament.

In a statement issued on February 16, Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian said he had asked Parliament Speaker Galust Sahakian to send the protocols on the normalization of ties and the establishment of diplomatic relations with neighboring Turkey back to him since “the Turkish government has no political will, distorts the spirit and letter of the protocols, and continues its policy of setting preconditions.”

Sarkisian also said that on the eve of commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey during World War I, “the policy of denial and rewriting history” is getting a renewed impulse in Ankara.

Tanju Bilgic, a spokesman for Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, told reporters on Tuesday that Yerevan decided to withdraw the protocols “to create a reason to accuse Turkey” ahead of the 100th anniversary of the massacres of Ottoman Armenians, which Turkey does not recognize as genocide.

“Turkey disagrees with the attitude taken by the Armenian side,” the official said, as quoted by the Hurriyet Daily News. He described Yerevan’s step as “wrong and unfortunate.”

According to the Turkish periodical, Bilgic said that the move displays Armenia’s “incoherent and insincere” stance, adding that “Turkey will remain loyal to regional normalization process which is the fundamental goal of the protocols.”

The protocols signed between Armenia and Turkey in Zurich, Switzerland, on October 10, 2009 aim to restore diplomatic ties between the countries as well as reopen the common border, which has been closed since 1993.

Recalling the protocols from the parliament does not mean that Armenia cancels them. Some political groups in Armenia and its worldwide Diaspora, notably the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, have, however, urged Sarkisian also to recall Armenia’s signature from the accords.

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