Armenia ready to establish relations with Turkey without preconditions – FM

Armenia is ready to establish relations with Turkey without preconditions, Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan told a press conference today.

He added, however, that “there is no good news today,” as the process involves two parties.

Unfortunately, he said, “we have realities that can in no way be welcome.”

“It’s the fact of the rejection of the Zurich process by Turkey, it’s the fact of the continuing blockade and the biased stance on the Karbaakh issue. It’s the fact of the denial and justification of the Armenian Genocide,” Zohrab Mnatsakanyan noted.

September 6, 2008 marked the start of “football diplomacy.” The then Turkish President Abdullah Gul visited Yerevan to watch a football match between the national teams of Armenia and Turkey.

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan visited Bursa on a return visit to watch a football match between the national teams of Armenia and Turkey on October 14, 2009.

The “football diplomacy” led to the signing of two protocols between Armenia and Turkey. On 10 October 2009, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Armenian Foreign Minister  Eduard Nalbandyan  signed in Zurich the two protocols in a ceremony attended also by then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, French Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner and Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov.

The Protocols required ratification from parliaments of both countries. In February 2015, the Armenian part, represented by President Sargsyan recalled the protocols from parliament, citing the “absence of political will” on the Turkish side.

 Then, in December 2017 citing lack of any “positive progress towards their implementation” by Turkey, the Armenian side vowed to declare them void and null, which Armenia formally did on 1 March 2018.

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