BAKU: ‘Armenian-Turkish Protocols Was The "Landmark" In Relations’

May 19 2010

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that positive relations
between Turkey and Armenia would be in the interest and stability of
the region.

In an exclusive interview with the A.A. correspondent, Ban responded
to the questions on Turkish-Armenian rapprochement, Alliance of
Civilizations, and Turkey’s EU membership.

Commenting on the recent developments in relations between Turkey
and Armenia, Ban said the protocol, aiming at boosting relations,
was the "landmark" in relations.

Ban said he knew that there was a long lasting historical matter
between the two countries, noting that, "however, positive and
harmonized relations between Turkey and Armenia, being the two
important countries of the same region, would be extremely important
both for the stability and peace in the region and for the cooperation
of the peoples of the two countries."

Asked to comment on Alliance of Civilizations Initiative, Ban said
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Spanish Prime Minister
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero started this initiative and now the
initiative got much support from the international community.

Ban welcomed inclusion of the United States to the Alliance of
Civilizations Friends Group, indicating that this would contribute
to the understanding among cultures.

Ban said he would attend the third forum of the initiative which
would take place at the end of this month and would see Erdogan there.

UN Secretary General said lack of respect and understanding in
different cultures and beliefs lied in the basis of many incidents
in the world based on violence.

When recalled that some European leaders opposed to full membership
of the EU and asked if he believed that Turkey would be a member
of the EU one day, Ban said he knew that Turkish government carried
talks with its European counterparts to be a full member and that he
closely followed the developments.

Ban said negotiations regarding Turkey’s EU membership should continue
between Turkish and European leaders.