YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The European Union welcomes the progress made by Armenia and Turkey in their unprecedented rapprochement effort and hopes the fence-mending deal between the two countries will be ratified soon, a senior EU envoy said in an interview with RFE/RL on Thursday.
Peter Semneby, the EU’s special representative to the South Caucasus, stressed the importance of normal relations between Turkey and Armenia, which he said are “both important partners of the EU in the immediate neighborhood of the European Union”.
Semneby acknowledged that the parliamentary ratification of the two protocols that envisage the establishment of diplomatic ties and development of bilateral relations between the two estranged nations is a domestic process in both countries.
But he added: “We hope though and expect that the [Turkey-Armenia] protocols will be ratified as soon as possible not least because we are convinced that the normalization and the contents of the protocols are very much in the interest of both countries.”
The EU envoy said that if Armenia and Turkey manage to move to a stage of implementation [of their agreement] within the next few months “this will have a very important constructive element to our relations with both countries.”
Semneby stressed that no link formally exists between the process of Turkish-Armenian normalization and separate peace talks between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the long-running dispute of Nagorno-Karabakh.
But he added: “I believe very strongly that any positive steps on any one problematic issue will have a positive effect on other problematic situations.”