Thirty years after the fall of Berlin wall, Turkey keeps Armenia border closed – Serzh Sargsyan

The lack of political will on the part of the Turkish leadership is the chief impediment to the establishment of relations with Armenia, President Serzh Sargsyan said at the Munich Security Conference.

“At the times of the Cold War, Armenia was on the border of one of the two rival blocks. Thirty years have passed since the fall of the Berlin wall, but Turkey still continues to keep the border with Armenia closed. It seems that the clock stopped ticking there,” Armenia’s President said.

“I am convinced that Armenia has taken all the possible measures in order to overcome that impasse. I initiated a process of normalization of the relations between Armenia and Turkey, which could have created new opportunities for both of our nations and the region at large,” he reminded.

Nevertheless, the President said, the Protocols that Armenia and Turkey had signed back in 2009 remained on the paper. “Turkey not only failed to ratify these documents, but also came up with preconditions that had no connection whatsoever with the Protocols. It was nothing but a failure to take advantage of the historic opportunity.”

“Is Azerbaijan preventing Turkey from establishing relations with Armenia, as many are trying to convince us? No, it is not the case. The chief impediment is the lack of political will on the part of the Turkish leadership,” he noted.

”I believe you may be aware that many representatives of the Armenian diaspora were not too happy about that decision of ours. It was natural, as they were successors of survivors of the Genocide and of homeland dispossession. I travelled around the globe back then, met with our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, community after community, and discussed with them this very sensitive issue,” Serzh Sargsyan said.

Have the Turkish leaders displayed such political will? Have they been faithful to the commitments they had signed up to?

“We cannot wait eternally for Turkey’s response. The Protocols were negotiated under the existing circumstances. If Turkey desires to await other circumstances and only then to ratify the Protocols, then it is profoundly mistaken. Under potential new circumstances, a new document is to be negotiated. Armenia does not resort to the language of preconditions, but equally, Armenia shall never accept preconditions put forth by anyone,” President Sargsyan stated.

“A brilliant son and statesman of the French nation, Charles de Gaulle, outlined a vision of united Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals. I think that it is the most accurate response to the question put forth for the discussion by this panel,” he added.

“I strongly believe that the fruits of mutually-beneficial and inclusive cooperation will best serve to bringing the European nations together and to ensuring their prosperity. This is the position adopted by Armenia, and we stand ready to further contribute to the realization of that objective,” the President stated.

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