YEREVAN (Reuters) — Armenia accused Turkey on Friday of trying to block a deal to establish diplomatic ties and open their border and warned their bid to overcome a century of hostility could collapse.
The comments by Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian cast fresh doubt on the future of the rapprochement, after Turkey accused Armenia’s Constitutional Court of trying to re-write the text of the deal with a court ruling last week.
Faced with a backlash from Turkish ally Azerbaijan, the rhetoric in both countries has grown increasingly bitter since they inked accords in October designed to overcome the legacy of the World War I mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.
The deal stands to burnish Turkey’s credentials as a potential EU entry state and boost its clout in the Caucasus. It would bring big economic benefits to poor, landlocked Armenia.
But asked on Friday if the process was in danger of collapsing, Nalbandian said:
“If Turkey is not ready to ratify the protocols, if it continues to speak in the language of preconditions and to block the process, then I don’t exclude it.”
But he added: “I hope Turkey will ratify the documents.”