Turkish Expert: Serzh Sargsyan Should Refrain From Preconditions To


2009-08-05 14:42:00

ArmInfo. "President Sarkisyan is right to point out that the
agreements reached within the roadmap are not fulfilled and the
timeframe not respected, expert of the Center for European Studies
of the Turkish Near East Technical University Burcu Gultekin told
ArmInfo. According to her, the text she prepared is based on the
feedbacks she got during her meeting at the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs last week in Ankara. "The Armenian side is right to stress
that the normalization process of the bilateral relations should go on
without preconditions. It would be counterproductive in this respect
that President Sarkisyan stands behind his statement he announced at
his joint press conference with the President of Serbia, Boris Tadic
visiting Yerevan, that he would only agree to attend to the return
leg match of the World Cup qualifying tie between Turkey and Armenia
on Oct.14 in Turkey if Ankara takes "real steps" to open the border",
the Turkish expert said.

Accoridng to the expert, "in April, President Sarkisyan expressed his
whish that the border be open before October and to be able to travel
by road directly from Yerevan". She added that if the Armenian-Turkish
border is not opened till October, S. Sargsyan will be able to fulfill
his intention in any way. "President Gul can perhaps meet him at the
border crossing", she said and added the two Presidents can even travel
together to Ani and visit the ancient Silk Road bridge which used
to link our two countries over the Arax river. "That would be a very
powerful symbolical gesture and an efficient public diplomacy move",
the expert said. Burcu Gultekin added that the speeches delivered by
the Presidents – even if they highlight the dissatisfaction because
of the slowdown of the negotiations-will help to keep the issue
of the normalization of the Turkish-Armenian relations high on the
Turkish political agenda. "This will also support efforts of those
striving to normalize the bilateral relations without preconditions",
B. Gultekin emphasized.