Armenia officially suspends rapprochement with Turkey

Armenia officially suspends rapprochement with Turkey

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has halted the ratification process of Armenian-Turkish protocols on establishing diplomatic relations and bilateral relations, signed on October 10, 2010 in Zurich, News Armenia reports.

The Armenian Foreign Minister was assigned to inform Turkey about the president’s decision. However, Armenia is not drawing back from normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations. Sargsyan’s message to the nation says that the process will only be suspended.

The president noted, that is continuing discussions with the presidents of France, USA and Russia and other partners of European structures.

“I am grateful to them for assistance, support of the process and efforts toward its development. I do not deny that our partners called on me to continue the process, not to halt it,” Sargsyan said.

“I respect them, their efforts and sincere requests, together with our coalition partners and after the discussions in the National Security Council, we decided not to draw back from the process, but rather suspend the ratification procedure. I am confident that our national interests demand it,” – Sargsyan said.

The Armenian president added that he will keep his signature in the protocols, hoping for improving relations and peace.

Though Armenian and Turkish relations remain tense, they started improving on 10 October 2009, when the Armenian and Turkish Foreign Ministers Edward Nalbandian and Ahmed Davutoglu signed the protocols in Zurich.

“Our political aims at improving Armenian-Turkish relations remain, and we consider moving forward, as soon as we are confident that Turkey has the necessary atmosphere, and we see Ankara’s ability to regulate relations,” Sargsyan said.

The president noted that while Armenia had concluded this stage of the process, which started after a football match between Armenia and Turkey in 2008, at the same time he wanted to express his gratefulness to Turkish President Abdullah Gul for “political civility throughout the whole period and for the positive relations formed between us”.