ANKARA—Turkey said it is still committed to the Turkey-Armenia protocols signed in 2009, which have not yet been ratified by Turkey, “despite Yerevan’s negative stance,” making reference to an announcement made Wednesday in Athens by Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, who reiterated an earlier assertion by President Serzh Sarkisian about nullifying the dangerous documents by spring.
“Despite Armenia’s negative stance on the Protocols, Turkey is committed to the primary clauses of the Protocols. These Protocols are still on the agenda of the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs Commission. For their ratification it is essential that a favorable political atmosphere and peace in the South Caucasus is secured,” said a statement issued Thursday by Turkey’s Foreign Ministry.
“These [Nalbandian’s] claims do not reflect the truth and aim to mislead world public opinion,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in response, suggesting that Ankara had made efforts to normalize relations with Armenia “on several levels” after Armenia proclaimed its independence in 1991.
“Turkey’s primary target pertaining to the Protocols process is to realize the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia so comprehensive peace and stability in the South Caucasus is provided,” read the statement.
“In this vein, it is necessary that progress is achieved in the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, based on Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and in light of the relevant resolutions of the U.N. Security Council,” it added.
The Foreign Ministry statement also responded to Nalbandian’s remarks on the Armenian Genocide.
“Mr. Nalbandian’s claims on genocide in his speech do not reflect the truth either. As ascertained by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, the 1915 events are a matter of legitimate debate within the framework of freedom of expression,” it said.