ANKARA: Sarkisian Rejects Turkish ‘Pre-Conditions,’ Reconnects With


April 13 2010

Armenian President Serge Sarkisian (L) as he shakes hands with Turkish
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday. AFP photo

Armenian President Serge Sarkisian accused Turkey of trying to split
his country during charged normalization talks, reiterating his stance
on preconditions.

"Turkey can’t speak in the language of preconditions with Armenia
and the people of Armenia. We simply will not allow it," Sarkisian
said late Monday after meeting with representatives of the Armenian
community in the United States.

He also visited the grave of the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson at
the National Cathedral in Washington, who was a vocal supporter of
independent Armenia.

Sarkisian met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines
of a U.S. nuclear summit in Washington earlier Monday and agreed to
carry out the rapprochement process through regular meetings between
their foreign ministers.

However, Sarkisian fiercely rejected any preconditions in talks with
Turkey. "We are not prepared in any way to question the issue of the
genocide or to pretend that Turkey may play any positive role in the
negotiating process for resolving the Karabakh question."

Sarkisian also accused Turkey of trying to split Armenia and the
Armenian Diaspora and said the Ankara government aimed to present
the situation as if there were two different opinions in Armenia and
the diaspora. "Today we deny the false illusions together. There is
no difference in the opinions of the Armenians of Armenia and the
Armenians of the diaspora. There is only a unified Armenian nation
and it will keep remain true to its just demand," he said.

Turkey and Armenia signed a landmark deal in October to establish
diplomatic relations and open their border after decades of hostility.

But parliamentary ratification of the deal has stalled in both
countries over tension surrounding claims of an Armenian genocide
during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Another sticking point is
Turkey’s support of Armenia’s enemy, Azerbaijan, which is in dispute
with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
From: Baghdasarian

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