Erdogan Rules Out Ratification Of Protocols Without Progress On Kara

Emil Sanamyan

Armenian Reporter 10 December 2009

It is up to the Turkish parliament to ratify the agreements reached
with Armenia, and ratification depends on progress in the Karabakh
talks, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a
visit to the United States this week.

In October, Turkey and Armenia signed protocols on the normalization of
relations, under the terms of which Turkey would lift its land blockade
of Armenia, but the agreements can only take effect after parliamentary
ratification. The protocols make no reference to Karabakh.

In an interview with PBS’ Charlie Rose on December 8, the Turkish
prime minister said that he did not believe the Turkish parliament
would ratify the agreements without progress in the Karabakh talks.

In a press conference on December 7, he claimed that the parliament
would vote "independently." Mr. Erdogan’s political party has a
two-thirds majority in parliament. He recalled the March 1, 2003 vote,
in which the parliament refused to grant permission for the United
States to use Turkish territory for ground attacks against Iraq.

At the press conference Mr. Erdogan said that France, Russia, and
the United States, as mediators coordinating the talks, should infuse
"more excitement, more enthusiasm in the Karabakh peace process and
both Armenia and Azerbaijan need to rise to the occasion" to make
progress (…)