WASHINGTON (Combined Sources)—Armenia’s Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian told reporters Wednesday that Armenia refused to discuss the Karabakh conflict with Turkey during meetings in Washington this week, since Turkey does not—and cannot—have a role in the Karabakh conflict resolution process.
“The Turkish side was trying to hold discussions on Karabakh, but we answered that Armenia-Turkey normalization could not be linked to the Karabakh settlement. I don’t think there are any reasons to discuss the Karabakh issue with Turkey. First of all Turkey cannot be a mediator in the Nagorno Karabakh settlement process. Secondly, Armenia will never make concessions over the Karabakh issue for the sake of Armenia-Turkey normalization. Connecting the two issues will harm both processes,” said Nalbandian as he summed of the President Serzh Sarkisian’s visit to Washington.
“It was a very important visit. The meetings were important both in terms of strengthening bilateral relations and discussing regional and international issues about which both sides are concerned,” said Nalbandian.
“President Sarkisian’s meetings with President Obama and Secretary Clinton provided an opportunity to continue the constructive dialogue and the discussions on the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations and the Karabakh conflict resolution,” added Nalbandian.
Commenting on Sarkisian’s meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Minister Nalbandian said the meeting “made it possible to have a clear idea about Turkey’s stance.”
Nalbandian insisted that Turkey’s continued efforts to link the two processes ran counter to the letter and spirit of the protocols. “If Turkey has changed its position, then we must draw appropriate conclusions on whether there are partners on the [Turkish] side with whom we can continue the process,” he told Armenian journalists in Washington.
In Nalbandian’s words, the Washington negotiations “have borne out our conclusions regarding the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process.” Sarkisian will publicize them at the “right time,” he said without elaborating.
Meanwhile, Davutoglu and Nalbandian discussed the matter during a working lunch hosted by Clinton for fellow foreign ministers attending the Washington summit. “Their conversation was focused on the continuation of yesterday’s discussions of Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian and Turkish Prime-Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” the Armenian Foreign Ministry said in a statement. It gave no further details.
Late Tuesday afternoon Sarkisian met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit.
Clinton reiterated President Obama’s position articulated Monday to Sarkisian of his wish for the sides to continue the Turkey-Armenia normalization process without preconditions.
Sarkisian discussed US-Armenia relations and the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group.
President Sarkisian had a meeting with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. The interlocutors discussed the perspectives of normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey.
Secretary Clinton reiterated US President Barack Obama’s call to continue the process of establishment of relations without preconditions.
Sarkisian also met on Tuesday with one of the key sponsors of the latest genocide resolution, congressman Adam Schiff. Sarkisian’s office said he thanked the California Democrat for his long-running efforts at U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide.