EuFoA hosts round-table with H.E Mr Arman Kirakossian

Today, 27 November 2009, European Friends of Armenia held a policy briefing at its Brussels office with H.E. Mr. Arman Kirakossian, Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia responsible for International Organisations and Armenia-Turkey relations. Key representatives of European Institutions, Brussels-based think-tanks, NGOs and mass media, as well as diplomats took part in this event. The focus of Mr. Kirakossian’s speech and the subsequent discussion was on recent developments in and around the South Caucasus, especially improvements in Armenia-Turkey relations.

“I am very happy that Mr Kirakossian is explaining the situation here in Brussels because people here need to understand that we are in a historic window of opportunity. The EU needs to use all its means to encourage Turkey to ratify the protocols or this historic opportunity to solve one of the Caucasus disputes with diplomatic means will soon be lost forever.” said EuFoA Secretary General Dr Michael Kambeck. “The ratifications are in the interest of Armenia, Turkey, the EU and everyone who seeks peace and stability in the South Caucasus. President Gul should not hide behind his parliament, because everyone knows that he has a huge majority in his parliament”, he added.

 

EuFoA suggests that both countries fix a date to ratify the protocols on one day, with prior test votes insuring a majority in both chambers. EuFoA furthermore seeks an involvement of the EU to supervise and guarantee the correct implementation of the protocols – so far no such guarantor exists and the texts could be open to interpretations after ratification.

 

Deputy Minister Kirakossian was directly involved in recent talks between Armenia and Turkey and he informed about the current status of the rapprochement process and possible next steps. He explained why Armenia sees the Turkey-Armenia rapprochement as a unique process, which should not be linked to the resolution of other conflicts in the region, as this essentially would render all linked issues to be unsolvable. Views were widely shared by participants that the issue of the Armenia-Turkey rapprochement and the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh need to be addressed totally separately.

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