But not to the detriment of its national interests - Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan
Yerevan is ready to engage in dialogue and establish relations with Turkey, but not at the expense of Armenia’s national interests.
“In the end, geography does not change. We do not do this to the detriment of our interests nor are we ready to do so. What we are saying is [that we are ready to establish friendly relations with Turkey] in the interest of all and in the interest of stability in the region, but we are not and have never been ready to act to the detriment of ourselves,” said Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, the head of the country’s foreign relations agency.
He noted that Armenia was and is interested in establishing friendly relations with its neighbor. The Minister also said that the blame for the current state of relations between the countries lies with Turkey:
“As of today, I have not heard a single encouraging statement so we could have any grounds to assume that the other side is willing [to find solutions to problems].”
Armenian-Turkish relations will not undergo significant changes in the near future, Turkologist Anahit Veziryan said in a conversation with JAMnews. In her opinion, Turkey’s foreign policy agenda is so saturated that there is simply no place for Armenia in it:
“Contacts between the parties are possible, especially given the recent change of power in Armenia and some of Erdogan’s statements on Armenia. However, we cannot say that these statements can change the current state of affairs. For Turkey, the main thing now is the Middle East. While Turkey has its primary interests there and the need to protect them, Armenia will not be able to take any important place in Ankara’s foreign policy.”
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, diplomatic relations were never established between Armenia and Turkey. Moreover, the border between the neighboring states has been closed by the Turkish side since 1993.
In 2008, on the initiative of then-Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, the “Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations” and “Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations” were signed, which were to be ratified by the parliaments of the two countries. However, the proposals did not come to pass.
More on these events in: “Yerevan revokes Armenian-Turkish Protocols, border to remain sealed.”