Turkish govt submits Armenia protocols to Majlis for approval

Turkish govt submits Armenia protocols to Majlis for approval

Turkish govt submits Armenia protocols to Majlis for approval

The Turkish government submitted Wednesday the recently signed protocols on establishment of diplomatic ties with Armenia to parliament for ratification.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is expected to brief the General Assembly this afternoon on the two protocols recently signed with Armenia which among other things foresee reciprocal opening of borders between the two countries and mutual recognition of existing borders.

The two protocols which were signed in Swiss city of Zurich on October 10, will be initially discussed at the Foreign Relations Committee and will be sent to the General assembly for ratification.

Under the protocol, Turkey and Armenia reconfirmed their commitment, in their bilateral and international relations, to respect and ensure respect for the principles of "equality, sovereignty, non-intervention in internal affairs of other states, territorial integrity and inviolability of frontiers".

The protocol on development of bilateral relations aims to facilitate the development of relations between Turkey and Armenia in all fields and opening of the Turkish-Armenian border two months after the protocol goes into effect.

While the United Nations, United States, the European Union (EU), Britain and Russia welcomed this development, the protocols stirred heated debates in Turkey and attracted strong criticism from the opposition.

Azerbaijan which has been uneasy about the recent rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia voiced concern and sought reassurance from the government of Turkey, its old ally, that it would not reopen borders with Armenia before a settlement to the Upper-Karabakh dispute.

Tough Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other officials promised not to open borders before a settlement was reached, Azerbaijan announced it would raise the price of natural gas it sold to Turkey and look for alternatives routes bypassing Turkey to carry its gas to Europe in reprisal for recent Turkey-Armenian rapprochement.

Leader of the main opposition, Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said during the group meeting of his party Tuesday that the government was "harming relations with allies while trying to please foreign countries", adding that Turkey "did not have the luxury to ignore Azerbaijan".

Leader of the second opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, said the recent protocols signed with Armenia was "the arbitrariness of the government" and it "did not reflect the views and emotions of the whole nation."

He urged the government not to be influenced by "foreign impositions" and to avoid straining relations with a country while trying to fix relations with another.

''The Justice and Development (AK) Party mentality which risks losing Azerbaijan in the name of winning over Armenia, has forced relations with this close ally to a dangerous path," said Bahceli.

However the government believes normalisation of relations with Armenia "will bring peace and prosperity to the region."

"Our political will is to resolve our problems with Armenia through dialogue. Then, great opportunities of cooperation will emerge in all fields for Turkish and Armenian peoples. Now, we hope that Azerbaijan and Armenia will resolve the Upper Karabakh dispute. If it happens, our people will quickly adopt the normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations," Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic ties or economic relations since Turkey closed its border with Armenia after this country invaded the Upper-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in 1992 until recently when the two countries agreed about a month ago on a protocol to establish relations after months-long Swiss mediated talks.


Last Mod: 21 Ekim 2009, 13:59
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