April 28 2005
Ankara, Yerevan in secret talks, Turkish reports say
Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers have developed a secret
protocol on cooperation to bring the Turkish and Armenian peoples
closer until the problems between the two countries are solved,
influential Turkish media reported.
Ministers Abdullah Gul and Vardan Oskanian are holding private
meetings in different countries to put an end to historical
differences and restore diplomatic ties, the reports said.
Prior to establishing diplomatic relations, the two countries
developed a special protocol laying groundwork for collaboration. The
document called “Turkish-Armenian approach” includes 10 items, which
envision opening Turkish and Armenian air space for the two
countries’ air travel, implementing joint tourism projects,
interacting in mutual preservation of historical monuments and
setting up models of cooperation between state agencies and media.
The protocol also covers conducting joint scientific research,
strengthening relations between NGOs and government bodies, seeking
ways of cooperating within international organizations, discussing
issues meeting the two countries’ interests and intensifying
Turkey has put forth four conditions to Armenia to sign the protocol,
as the latter is to withdraw the provisions on territorial claims
against Turkey from its Constitution and recognize Turkey’s borders
set by the 1921 Gars Treaty. Armenia is also required not to make its
claims on false “genocide of Armenians” a priority in its foreign
policy and observe UN resolutions on the withdrawal of its troops
from the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
According to Turkish reports, the sides have failed to sign the
protocol twice. Talks on its provisions started in 2002 and continue
between Turkish and Armenian diplomats in neutral countries.