Photo: Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who announced his resignation Thursday, setting the scene for probable early elections.
By Emil Danielyan
Armenia expressed hope on Thursday that the deepening government crisis in Turkey will not halt the ongoing political “dialogue” between the two neighbors.
“I find it necessary to emphasize that Armenia attaches great importance to the establishment of domestic political stability in Turkey,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Dziunik Aghajanian said in a statement to the media. “We hope that the ongoing dialogue will continue regardless of political developments in Turkey because it stems from the interests of the two neighboring peoples and states.”
The statement followed the resignation earlier in the day of Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who has spearheaded Ankara’s recent efforts to ease its long-running tensions with Yerevan. Cem and his Armenian counterpart, Vartan Oskanian, have met for three times this year and claim to have made progress towards normalizing the strained relations between their countries. The most recent such meeting took place in Istanbul late last month.
Cem’s resignation was a serious blow to the ailing Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and his three-party coalition government which is teetering on the brink of collapse. The move increases the likelihood of early elections in Turkey just as it faces its worst economic recession since 1945.
Cem, 62, was one of the few members of the Turkish cabinet with an international profile. He has played a key role in improving ties with long-time rival and NATO partner Greece.