ANKARA: Ankara Criticizes Yerevan For Blocking Observers


Today’s Zaman, Turkey
May 9 2007

Describing Armenia’s refusal to allow Turkish observers to monitor an
election this month as "extremely unfortunate," the Turkish Foreign
Ministry has called on the international community to evaluate
Yerevan’s decision in light of whether it really has the intention
of developing good neighborhood relations with Turkey.

Yerevan said on Monday it was not letting Turkish nationals join
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) observers
at the May 12 parliamentary election because of the absence of
diplomatic relations between Yerevan and Ankara. Noting that Armenia
has constantly accused Turkey of avoiding steps toward dialogue
between the two countries, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson
Levent Bilman said late on Monday that Armenia’s suspicion of
the Turkish election observers, the appointment of whom should be
considered "a confidence-building measure between the two countries,"
was "an extremely unfortunate development for Armenia." Earlier on
Monday democracy watchdog the OSCE also voiced concern over Armenia’s
approach, saying it didn’t comply with "the principles of transparency
and objectivity."