YEREVAN (AFP)–The head of Armenia’s parliament said Thursday that it would not ratify a landmark deal on ties with Turkey before the Turkish parliament does, accusing Ankara of setting new conditions on the agreement.
“The National Assembly of Armenia will start discussions on the ratification of the protocols only after their ratification by the Turkish parliament,” Speaker Hovik Abrahamian told journalists.
He accused Turkish officials of trying to link the ratification to Armenia’s acceptance of a pro-Azerbaijani solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and its silence on demands for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
“These are not fair steps, as initially this was a question of normalizing relations without preconditions,” Abrahamian said.
Turkey and Armenia signed two protocols in October on establishing diplomatic ties and re-opening their shared border in a deal hailed as a historic step towards ending decades of hostility stemming from Turkey’s annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians from their historic homeland.
But Armenia in recent weeks has expressed growing frustration over Turkey’s failure to ratify the protocols, with President Serzh Sarkisian earlier this month threatening to walk away from the deal if Ankara “drags out” the process.
Turkish officials have repeatedly said the agreements will not be ratified without progress in Armenia’s dispute with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh.