YEREVAN (BBC and RFE/RL) — The Armenian government this week announced it is halting the ratification in parliament of landmark accords on normalizing relations with Turkey.
They said it was because of Turkey’s refusal to “ratify the protocols without preconditions and in a reasonable timeframe.”
The countries signed a historic deal in 2009 to re-establish diplomatic ties. But ratification has stalled in both countries over the issue of the Armenian Genocide.
“Considering the Turkish side’s refusal to fulfill the requirement to ratify the accord without preconditions in a reasonable time, making the continuation of the ratification process in the national parliament pointless, we consider it necessary to suspend this process,” the statement said.
In a keenly anticipated address to the nation, Sargisian noted that while he will suspend the ratification process, he has decided not to withdraw Yerevan’s signature from the Turkish-Armenian normal zation protocols at the request of the United States, Russia and other foreign powers that have strongly supported his policy of rapprochement with Turkey.
“The matter of the fact is that our partners have urged us to continue the process, rather than to discontinue it,” he declared in a speech posted on his website and aired by Armenia’s leading TV channels. “Out of respect for them, their efforts, and their sincere aspirations, we have decided … not to exit the process for the time being, but rather, to suspend the procedure of ratifying the Protocols. We believe this to be in the best interests of our nation.”