Turkey’s Stance Remains Unchanged

TURKEY’S STANCE REMAINS UNCHANGED
LUSINE HOVHANNISYAN

Hayots Ashkharh Daily
23 Dec 2008
Armenia

"Gyul’s visit has mainly got a symbolic character, it doesn’t give
any hint about principal changes. But if Turkey really intends to
make positive changes in Armenian-Turkish relations after this visit
it will be more visible and clear," Director of the Institute of
Oriental Studies under the Academy of Sciences Ruben Safrastyan said
in his interview given to "Hayots Ashkharh" daily one day before the
visit of the Turkish President Abdullah Gyul to Armenia.

Summarizing the period following the recent football diplomacy of
Armenian-Turkish relations, he underscored yesterday: "Judging from the
reports of the Turkish press and the announcements made by different
high ranking officials in Turkey, there is no significant change in
Turkey’s stance regarding Armenian-Turkish relations. Not only is it an
important, but in my view the most important circumstance, because the
present situation of Armenian-Turkish relations is mainly conditioned
by the stance of the Turkish state, Turkish policy towards Armenia".

Touching upon the proposal on security and cooperation in South
Caucasus initiated by Turkey: that is to say the format 3+2, Armenia,
Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, Russia, R. Safrastyan linked it with
the fact that the August developments in the region were solved to
the benefit of Russia.

According to the observations of the speaker, what Turkey really
needs is that the before mentioned initiative is supported by Russia
and the South Caucasian countries. Georgia abstained from supporting
the proposal only because Russia was involved there. In this regard
Armenia’s positive approach is very important for Turkey, because in
case Armenia also refused to participate, only Azerbaijan would have
remained there: "This was the first case when Armenia became valuable
for Turkey in terms of diplomacy, which Armenian party must use in
the negotiation process."

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