By Anna Israelian, Aghasi Yenokian
YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Turkey will risk reversing its unprecedented rapprochement with Armenia if it persists in linking the process with a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict desired by Azerbaijan, Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian has said.
In a videotaped studio interview on January 17 with RFE/RL’s Armenian Service, Nalbandian also sought to cool talk of an imminent settlement of Nagorno-Karabagh, saying that Baku is “not prepared for mutual concessions in 2010.”
Commenting on the continuing Turkish linkage of the two issues, Nalbandian reiterated his government’s arguments that Ankara and Yerevan set no preconditions when they embarked in 2008 on an intensive dialogue culminating in the signing in October of two agreements to normalize bilateral relations. He also argued that neither “protocol” makes any mention of the Karabagh dispute. The interview with Nalbandian was aired by both the Artsakh public television broadcaster inside Nagorno-Karabagh, as well as by regional Armenian TV.
“Had there been preconditions, we would not have started this process and reached agreements in the first place,” said Nalbandian.
“If one of the parties is creating artificial obstacles, dragging out things, that means it is assuming responsibility for the failure of this process,” he warned.