US Clinton to talk of Turkey-Armenia ties during Yerevan trip

Gordon said Turkey-Armenia relations would come up during U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's upcoming trip to Yerevan.

US Clinton to talk of Turkey-Armenia ties during Yerevan trip

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon said Turkey-Armenia relations would come up during U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's upcoming trip to Yerevan.

Gordon held a press briefing on Tuesday on Clinton's upcoming trip to Central Europe and the Caucasus.

In response to a question from a reporter, Gordon said he was sure Turkey-Armenia relations would be discussed during Clinton's trip to Yerevan.

Gordon pointed out that the protocols signed by Turkey and Armenia last October were not yet ratified, and Armenian President Serzh Sargsian announced last spring that he was suspending his pursuit of ratification, blaming Turkey, until the Turkish side was ready to move forward with ratification of protocols.

Gordon said the trip would be a chance for Clinton to speak to President Sargsian and the Armenians about how they saw that situation.

"We continue to believe it would be a good thing for the protocols to get ratified and implemented and have an open border with Turkey that would benefit both Armenia and Turkey," said Gordon.

The protocols signed by Ankara and Yerevan in October 2009 aim to normalize relations and reopen the border which Turkey closed in 1994 following the Armenian occupation of Karabakh region in Azerbaijan. However, the protocols must be ratified by parliaments of the two countries and none of the parties yet proceeded with the ratification.

"US sees setback"

Answering a question on Turkey's shutting its airspace to Israeli aircraft, Gordon said the flotilla incident was a "setback" for decades of close cooperation between Turkey and Israel.

"And since the flotilla incident, we've seen tensions in that relationship and talk of specific steps. And any steps away from what had been a really flourishing security, diplomatic, tourism, and economic relationship is a setback and is unfortunate," said Gordon.

Relations between Turkey and Israel saw a heavy blow after Israeli commandos raided late May a Gaza-bound aid flotilla and killed eight Turkish activists and a U.S. citizen of Turkish descent.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Haziran 2010, 11:12

SeydiAli

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