Serzh Sargsyan does not believe that Turkey’s membership in NATO makes
him more predictable
07.07.2007 14:31 GMT+04:00
/PanARMENIAN.Net/ `NATO and the European Union are turning a blind eye
to Turkey’s long-running blockade of our borders. Ankara’s refusal to
open land routes is costing the small, landlocked state a third of its
Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Europeans are shy over these
issues. They love to talk about human rights, about democratic values
but it’s much easier to talk rather than to implement anything,’ Prime
Minister Serzh Sargsyan stated in an interview to Reuters.
Reuters reminds that `Turkey shut its borders to Christian Armenia in
1993 to protest against the capture by Armenian forces of territory
inside Azerbaijan, Ankara’s historic Muslim ally, during fighting over
the Nagorno Karabakh region. Ankara says it will not reopen its
frontier until Armenia reaches a peace agreement with Azerbaijan’.
The blockade, coupled with similar measures by Azerbaijan, means
Armenia has to route its trade through its land border with Georgia,
or over treacherous mountain passes that link it to Iran. Those
difficulties greatly increase costs.
S. Sargsyan said Armenia wants to resume relations with Turkey without
preconditions and would not obstruct Turkey’s desire to join the EU
because this might make Ankara `more predictable’.
`Although NATO officials tell us that Turkey is predictable as it’s a
member of NATO, I don’t believe it because even before our blockade
Turkey was a member of NATO when it occupied Cyprus,’ the Prime
Minister of Armenia added.
Reuters also underlines that Armenia and Turkey have a long history of
enmity, arising from the killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians under
the Ottoman empire in 1915-17.
`Armenians and some European nations describe the deaths as
genocide. Turkey says they were part of a partisan conflict during
World War One. It is a crime in Turkey to refer to the killings as a
genocide,’ Reuters reports.