Sabine Freizer: “Main obstacle to normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations is not those countries, but Azerbaijan”

Sabine Freizer: “Main obstacle to normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations is not those countries, but Azerbaijan”
# 12 March 2010 15:35 (UTC +04:00)
Ankara hopes that it will be a step towards realization of the program “zero problems with neighbors”, but discussion of the issue of Armenian genocide at the joint commission will delay international recognition of this fact. Armenia will get opened borders and restore diplomatic relations with the neighbor country”, said Sabine Freizer, Europe Program Director, International Crisis Group at the NATO 73rd Rose Roth seminar in Yerevan, APA reports quoting News.am. Freizer said with normalization of its relations with Turkey, Armenia at the same time would prove to the Armenian Diaspora that it could pursue policy not depending from it.

“But the main obstacle to normalization of the relations is not these countries, but Azerbaijan, which considers that Turkey closed its borders with Armenia because of Nagorno Karabakh conflict and they are sure that the borders must not be opened without withdrawal of Armenian troops from the Armenian-controlled lands. Turkey also intends to prolong the opening of borders, but it has other reasons”.

Sabine Freizer said the situation was complicated by the decision of Armenian constitutional court. “I don’t think that the decision of Armenian constitutional court doesn’t tackle the ratification of the protocols. Ankara is willing to ratify the protocols, but there should be certain progress in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict for that. The question is not about the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the lands controlled by them or signing of any framework agreement. The question is about the small movement. I met President Gul in Ankara. He said that they were ready to ratify the protocols in the form that was signed in Zurich”.
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