STEPANAKERT (Noyan Tapan)–President Jacques Chirac’s signing the resolution of French legislature recognizing the Armenian Genocide prompted Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem’s statement challenging France’s ability to act as an unbiased mediator in the Karabakh peace process.
Commenting on the top Turkish diplomat’s statement–NKR Foreign Ministry Spokesman Leonid Martirosian noted: "The style of ultimatums officials in Ankara are resorting to is absolutely unacceptable in relations between governmen’s. The Turkish Minister’s reaction has demonstrated that Ankara continues to adhere to the policy of blackmail and threatens everything concerning the Armenian people. Moreover–for achieving its goals–it is even ready to undermine the international efforts spearheaded by the OSCE Minsk Group thus jeopardizing the Karabakh peace process. I would like to draw the attention of high-ranking officials in Turkey to the fact that before blaming France for its allegedly biased and pro-Armenian position–Turkey should impartially estimate its own role as a party to the Minsk process.
The country–which is not dissembling unconcealed hostility towards Armenia and is continuing to blockade its neighbor–openly supporting Azerbaijan’s aggressive designs against Nagorno-Karabakh and rendering military assistance to Azerbaijan–has no moral right to blame anyone for bias. If one adheres to Turkey’s logic so it should have been long ago excluded not only from the OSCE Minsk Group but from all the regional processes–either political or economic."