Ashton regrets loss of momentum in Armenia-Turkey rapprochement
European Friends of Armenia welcomes the statement by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton, released yesterday 26 April on the normalisation process between Turkey and Armenia. As stressed in her declaration, the Armenian government remains committed to pursue the process of normalisation with Turkey and has not withdrawn the signature under the protocols. EuFoA interprets the suspension of the rapprochement process as a diplomatic answer to the half-hearted Turkish stance on the ratification of the protocols, using the rapprochement merely to achieve a softer Genocide-recognition policy by the White House. It was not by accident that the Armenian government made this step on 22 April, 2 days before the worldwide commemoration day of the Armenian Genocide.
“Turkey should better listen to the courageous voices coming from its civil society, acknowledge the history and normalise relations with its neighbours, as agreed between the EU and Turkey under the Copenhagen criteria. Instead, Turkey is ambiguously making the rapprochement process hostage to the Armenian Genocide recognition and to ultranationalist agendas both from Turkey and Azerbaijan.” commented Sargis Ghazaryan, Senior Research Fellow at EuFoA.
Political activities in Turkey since the day of the protocols signature have not shown much willingness by the Turkish government to create a favourable climate for the ratification of the protocols. While Ankara launched a series of critical statements and set pre-conditions for the ratification, the government in Yerevan conducted road shows all over Armenia and even worldwide to advocate for the ratification of the protocols. “The Armenian government has only frozen this pro-ratification campaign. Having discussed this with our contacts in Yerevan, we believe that the ratification could be resumed again quickly, once Turkey visibly changes its attitude.” said Secretary General Michael Kambeck.
The EU’s commitment to support the Turkey-Armenia rapprochement politically and technically was and will be a crucial contribution for establishing security and stability in the entire Southern Caucasus region.
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