Turkey's PM says committed to deals despite Armenia halt

Turkey's prime minister said his country was committed to peace protocols with Armenia.

Turkey's PM says committed to deals despite Armenia halt

Turkey's prime minister said on Thursday his country was committed to peace protocols with Armenia, despite a decision by Armenia's ruling coalition to suspend ratification of the accords by Yerevan's parliament.

Turkey and Armenia which have no diplomatic ties or economic relations since Turkey closed its border with Armenia since this country invaded the Upper-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan in 1992, signed two protocols in October 2009, for normalisation of relations, after months-long Swiss-mediated talks.

But, Armenia's ruling coalition on Thursday said it had decided to freeze the ratification in parliament of accords with Turkey aimed at normalising ties.

"As we have earlier stated numerous times, we are loyal to the protocols, their essence and spirit as well as their implementation," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a joint press conference with New Zealander counterpart John Key after a their meeting in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

"Obviously, it is at their own discretion over how they would manage the ratification process. I am in no position to tell them what to say," Erdogan said, adding that he had "taken note" of the Yerevan government's decision.

"Suspension"

The protocols envisage the two countries to establish diplomatic ties and open the border that has been close since 1993.

"Considering the Turkish side's refusal to fulfil the requirement to ratify the accord without preconditions in a reasonable time, making the continuation of the ratification process in the national parliament pointless, we consider it necessary to suspend this process," Armenia statement said.

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 the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border two months after the protocol goes into effect.

Both Turkey and Armenian governments initiated the internal ratification process.

Turkish government sent the protocols to the parliament. The protocol needs to be approved by the parliament in order for it to take effect. The Turkish government says it will not open the border unless Armenia ends its occupation of Upper-Karabakh.

However, on January 12, 2010, the Armenian Constitutional Court approved the protocols, however the tone of the court's reasoned verdict drew criticism from Turkey and Turkish officials who voiced their uneasiness in various platforms.

Turkey thought the fifth article of Armenian Constitutional Court's verdict regarding the protocols was against the target and basis of the protocols.


Agencies

Last Mod: 22 Nisan 2010, 16:20
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