BAKU: Serzh Sargsyan’s Statement Is Obstacle To Address Our Problems


July 30 2009

Turkish ruling Justice and Development Party member of parliament
Ruhi Achikgoz spoke in an exclusive interview with Day.Az.

Day.Az: Recently Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said he will visit
Turkey to watch return match between the two countries’ football
teams only after Ankara opens borders or makes an evident move to
remove Armenia’s blockade. How can you comment on this statement?

Ruhi Achikgoz: I did not closely watch recent events, but I believe
Armenia-Turkey talks and efforts to resolve the Karabakh conflict
are going on. We are trying to establish a political dialogue. Turkey
surely notifies Azerbaijan of this dialogue.

I think Armenian president should try to help us in solving common
problems, because he understands that the fact that the Karabakh
conflict is not resolved hinders Armenia in the eyes of world community
and makes situation of Armenians and complex Armenia-Turkey relations
even worse. These problems must be resolved. I hope that Sargsyan
will contribute to solving these problems. The visit by Mr. Abdullah
Gul to Yerevan, of course, was associated not only with watching a
soccer match. The visit marked the first step to solving all problems,
first of all the Karabakh conflict.

I think it would be more appropriate for Sargsyan to support this
step. Because strong politicians can take a risk on the settlement
of problems.

Q: When Turkish President Abdullah Gul visited Armenia, he did not
make any terms. But Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan does make
terms. Is it a right move?

A: It will not be beneficial for bilateral relations. Sargsyan’s
statement which makes terms is one of the biggest obstacles to solve

Q: How do you assess current level of Armenia-Turkey relations?

A: I believe the policy pursued by Turkish president and prime minister
is right. Naturally, we constantly keep Armenia-Azerbaijan relations
on agenda. We get familiar with the state of affairs and discuss
it at various meetings with parliamentarians of both countries. We
participate in all initiatives aimed at resolving the problems. But
we certainly do not support a unilateral approach to the case. Turkey
does not want the region where it is located to have problems.

This is confirmed by numerous statements by new Foreign Minister Ahmed
Davudoglu. These challenges also include the Karabakh conflict and the
so-called "Armenian Genocide." Solution of these problems must not
be delayed because it does not benefit societies who are interested
in addressing them.

Q: How do you assess the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group to resolve
the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict? As you know, two
co-chairs will soon have to leave the group.

A: The main thing is the process. Someone’s leaving the group will
not change anything. The settlement process must not be interrupted. I
think that process will continue regardless of the departure of any of
co-chair. We need to patiently wait for the outcome of the activities
of the Minsk Group. There are long-standing problems that can not
be solved quickly and easily. You need to wait. I think that this
process will continue and activities of the Minsk Group will lead to
positive results.

Q: Once it was widely believed that Turkey could help resolve the
Karabakh conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group. This news prompted
discontent in Armenia…

A: Naturally, an increase in those who contribute to resolving the
conflict always brings benefits. I think that it may be beneficial
to both Azerbaijan and Armenia. It is wrong to believe that the
participation of Turkey in this process will benefit only Azerbaijan.