YEREVAN (ArmeniaNow) — In a rare reaction released by Armenia’s Foreign Ministry late on Friday, Minister Eduard Nalbandian warned Turkey that linking the continuing rapprochement between the two countries with progress in a separate Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno Karabagh could ruin both.
Nalbandian was reacting to the most recent statement made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the Armenian-Turkish border will not be opened until the Karabagh conflict is solved.
“The Turkish side is informed, and we are confident that they realize that we exclude the conditioning of the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations by the steps towards the settlement of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict,” Nalbandian said in his reply also posted on the Ministry’s official website (www.armeniaforeignministry.com).
“Trying to link those two processes could ruin one and the other. A number of countries, including the Minsk Group co-chair countries, have expressed the same position. They have repeatedly stated that the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations must be without preconditions.”
Nalbandian said that “with this mutual understanding we have started and conducted negotiations and came to agreements reflected in the initialed protocols.”
“If the Turkish authorities have problems with the signing of documents, they should not try to solve them by distorting the spirit, essence and goals of the initialed documents. The signing and implementation of agreed documents is a difficult process. Nevertheless, Armenia is ready to respect the agreements and go forward.”