While calling for peace in the region, Turkey has rejected opening the borders for 25 years, Armenian MP tells PACE

While calling for peace and stability in the region, Turkey has for more than 25 years rejected opening the borders with Armenia, member of the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Armen Gevorgyan said during the discussion on honoring of obligations and commitments by Turkey.

“Many countries in this Parliamentary Assembly will testify to at least having uneven relations with Turkey. Some of them have had the hope that, as a result of the EU accession process, Turkey would begin to live by the European rules of the game, but that perspective has probably vanished by now,” the MP said.

He stressed that Turkey has itself rejected this path in order to have its own ambitions of becoming the leader of the Muslim world and of the wider region, achieved without any external obligations or commitments.

“I have previously been a member of two Armenian administrations, which have tried to negotiate new relations with Turkey. In all previous cases, despite international support or pressure, at some point Turkey had always put forward the language of preconditions, undermining the entire process,” he said.

The Armenian delegate noted that while calling for peace and stability in the region, Turkey has for more than 25 years rejected opening the borders with Armenia.

“Neither has it ever made a big secret of its political, military and other forms of support and patronage over Azerbaijan in the latest military aggressions against Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia,” Armen Gevorgyan said.

“Turkey and its minor ally Azerbaijan have fundamentally changed the political map of the South Caucuses, built a new architecture of regional security and stability, with a full pledge of domination of the Turkic world and by neutralizing the so-called Armenian issue to the extent possible. At the same time, for many European states the Turkish factor has become a serious domestic political challenge,” the lawmaker stated.

“These days we are witnessing a new Armenian-Turkish dialogue. We must remember, unfair peace is always shaky. There are concerns that such a dialogue will again become a demonstration of dominance by Turkey, where it will redefine a region by assigning its own understanding of roles for each of its nations,” he added.

“Most recently here in Strasbourg, the Turkish foreign minister Mr Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu for yet another time made further claims to the descendants of the victims of Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. He demonstrated a fresh example of anti-Armenian rhetoric, calling upon the Turkish ethnic community in democratic France to stand against French Armenians, people who in the past 100 years had only celebrated and heavily contributed to the development of the entire democratic and free Europe,” Gevorgyan said.

“This is exactly why I want to everyone to know that, not only in the Armenian diaspora, but also in Armenia, the great majority of our people are not ready to trust a neighbor who does not realize what it has done in the past and does not draw reasonable conclusions in its present policies. A neighbor who prefers ethno-religious sentiments and priorities in regional relations,” the MP said.

“I don’t believe that our organization or any European value-based organization should allow Turkey to follow its short-term interests by sacrificing long term European credibility,” he concluded.

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