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Turkish leader unlikely to accept invitation to visit Armenia: Expert

Artak Barseghyan
Public Radio of Armenia

The Turkish Taraf daily reported a few days ago that Prime Minister Recep Tayyop Erdogan had given official instructions to get through with preparations to open Alijan checkpoint on the Armenian border.

Although the Turkish Foreign Ministry dismissed the reports, expert of Turkish studies Artak Shakaryan sees theoretic grounds to trust Taraf.

“It was Taraf that revealed the details of the famous Ergenekon case. It has good relations with the authorities and sometimes specially leaks information to test the public opinion,” he said.

At the same time, Shakaryan doubts that the border will be opened in September. He links this publication to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide to be marked next year. “The opening of the Armenian-Turkish border months before the genocide centennial will be a nice gesture to show the world that it has no hostile feelings towards the Republic of Armenia,” he noted.

The expert said that the opening of the border is easier for Ankara than the ratification of the Armenian-Turkish protocols, because the Justice and Development Party does not have the necessary number of Deputies at the Grand National Assembly to ratify the protocols.” Meanwhile, the opening of the border is easier, as it can be closed again under some pretext after the 100th anniversary.

Speaking about Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s invitation to the Turkish leader to visit Yerevan on April 24, 2015, Shakaryan said it would be turned down. “The best cause for this is the 100th anniversary of Turks in Battle of Gallipoli to be marked on April 25,” he said.

“Even if the Turkish President (most likely Erdogan) accepts the invitation to visit Yerevan, he may come forth with statements unacceptable to the Armenian side,” Shakaryan said. He believes that as President Erdogan will try to strengthen his positions, but one should not expect great concessions from him.

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