“We want to normalize our relations with Turkey. We cannot discuss any corridor issue. But we want to discuss opening of regional transport links,” Pashinian said during an online press conference late on Tuesday answering a question from RFE/RL’s Armenian Service.
Pashinian and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exchanged public statements in August about reciprocal “positive signals” for normalizing relations after decades of feud over historical events, including the Ottoman-era massacres of Armenians that over two dozen governments in the world recognize as the first genocide of the 20th century.
In an interview with Le Figaro earlier this month Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan revealed, however, that Ankara was setting new conditions for starting a dialogue with Yerevan, including the provision of an exterritorial corridor for Azerbaijan. He told the French daily that the demand for such a corridor was out of the question.
Pashinian, too, said that last year’s Russia-brokered Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire agreement did not envisage any exterritorial corridors. He stressed, however, that Armenia is ready to provide transit roads via its territory, which is part of the deal that stopped a 44-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh, maintaining sovereignty over them.
“We want to normalize our relations with Turkey. But we want to ask a question to both Turkey and Azerbaijan, since they declare about their being ‘one people – two nations’. Do they or do they not want to destroy the Republic of Armenia, Armenia’s statehood? Do they or do they not want to continue and complete the genocide of the Armenian people? If not, then it is a different question. If yes, then what choice do we have besides resistance?” Pashinian said, adding that Armenia expects answers to these questions in the form of actions rather than statements.
“If they do not want it, then they are right when they say that there is a historical chance to establish peace and stability in this region,” the Armenian leader concluded.
Earlier this week Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said that Yerevan had asked Moscow to act as a mediator in a possible rapprochement process with Ankara.