Hasan Kanbolat: Armenia has to take action to avoid isolation

Hasan Kanbolat: Armenia has to take action to avoid isolation
25.07.2008 15:43 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ A project to launch a railway between Turkey,
Azerbaijan and Georgia is a strong message to Armenia that it has to
take action to avoid isolation in the region, a Turkish expert said.

"Armenia is about to be pushed into permanent isolation," said Hasan
Kanbolat, an expert at the Ankara-based Center for Eurasian Strategic
Studies (ASAM). He said Turkey was the main outlet for the landlocked
Armenia to reach the West and that Yerevan must take concrete steps to
normalize its relations with Ankara, Today’s Zaman reports.

Turkey closed its border and severed its diplomatic ties with Armenia
in 1993 as a token of solidarity with Azerbaijan in the Nagorno
Karabakh issue. Ankara also urges Armenia to change its policy of
international recognition of the Armenian Genocide at the hands of the
Ottoman Empire.

Yerevan has numerously stated readiness to normalize relations with
Ankara without preconditions. As an initiative for reconciliation,
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan invited his Turkish counterpart,
Abdullah Gul, to Yerevan to watch a football match on September 6. The
Turkish President is reported to be considering the invitation.

Kanbolat, however, said the invitation is not enough and that more
substantial steps are needed for any serious progress to take
place. "Armenia should keep its promises regarding gradual withdrawal
from Azerbaijani territory," he said.