Ruben Shugarian: Reconsideration Of Turkey’s Biassed Policy InKaraba


YEREVAN, September 16 (Noyan Tapan). Turkey has been refusing to
establish diplomatic relations with Armenia by now putting forward
a number of preconditions, the Nagorno Karabakh issue, refusing of
allegations about 1915 Armenian Genocide, recognition of territorial
integrity of Turkey. Ruben Shugarian, RA Deputy Foreign Minister,
declared this at the September 15 discussion entitled “Political
Preconditions of Opening of Armenian-Turkish Border, Wish and Reality”
organized by the Center for Public Dialogue and Developments.

“Recently the Turkish side has dropped some hints, according to which
though the Nagorno Karabakh issue remains as one of the preconditions
of the agenda of Armenian-Turkish relations it is no longer considered
as first and foremost,” Ruben Shugarian mentioned. In the estimation
of the Armenian side, reconsideration of Turkey’s biassed policy in
Karabakh issue will contribute to improvement of bilateral relations
and will establish stability in the region.

Shugarian emphasized that though the issue of recognition of the
Genocide remains on the agenda of Armenia’s foreign policy and its
relations with Turkey Armenia doesn’t consider this as a precondition
for establishing diplomatic relations with Turkey. Armenia considers
this issue not only in the context of restoration of historical
justice, but also in the context of future improvement of atmosphere
of mutual trust, guarantee of security in the region and prevention
of such crimes in the future.

RA Deputy Foreign Minister considered characteristic that in spite of
absence of diplomatic relations between 2 sides recently there are
some contacts at different levels between the Foreign Ministers of
Armenia and Turkey. They give the sides an opportunity of discussing
issues worrying them, a well as exchanging opinions about regional
and international developments.

Though there are no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey and
the borders between them are closed the amounts of foreign trade are
steadily increasing. Attempts of bilateral contacts and cooperation
are also made at inter-regional (Gyumri-Kars) level, level of NGO
representatives, businessmen and higher schools. Greeting these
contacts Armenia continues holding the opinion that the problems
existing between two countries may be solved only at the state level,
the speaker emphasized.

As for the Armenian-Turkish border, Ruben Shugarian mentioned that
this is also a border between NATO and Armenia, as well as between a
potential member of EU and Armenia, i.e. in the future this may become
a border between EU and Armenia: “In this respect the border is also
closed for the whole region and it’s clear that the Georgia-Turkey
and Azerbaijan-Turkey borders aren’t enough for an adequate reaction
to the geopolitical processes.”