YEREVAN (Armenpress)-Turkey’s dictating of pre-conditions for Armenian-Turkish relations mean that it does not seek the normalization of relations, Republican Party Parliamentary Faction Member Armen Ashotian said on Tuesday during a conference in Yerevan on Turkish-Armenian Relations.
If Armenia is not putting forward any pre-conditions than no country has a right to do so, he said, adding that Armenia has stated, time and again, it is ready for unconditional relations.
The conference, entitled, "Global Challenges and Threats: Possibility of Joint Efforts between Armenia and Turkey," was organized by the Eurasia Partnership foundation alongside the Analytical Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation, with funding from USAID. Held in the Congress Hotel in Yerevan, the conference brought together academics, diplomats, policy-makers, politicians, legal experts, economists and heads of international organizations from Turkey and Armenia to discuss the current state of Turkish-Armenian relations
Keynote speakers at the conference included: Diba Nigar Goksel; Leader of the Turkish Liberal-Democratic Party Cem Toker, Turkish ARI Movement Board Member Arda Batu, Armenia’s Analytical Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation Chairman Stepan Grigoryan, Armenian Republican Party Member and Armen Ashotyan, and Armenia’s Caucasus Media Institute Director Alexander Iskandarian.
The conference examined whether aspirations to join Europe will diminish the historical and political tensions that exist between the two nations. The conference also explored the capacity of Armenian and Turkish research centers to play any significant role in the process.
The EU indirectly plays an important role in the current situation between Armenia and Turkey because, explained Yerevan State University Civilization and Cultural Researches Center Director David Hovhannissian. Although the EU will not make Turkey establish diplomatic relations with Armenia it may indirectly have positive impact on it, he explained.
According to him, the path to EU membership is making Turkey a more democratic and open country.
The European Union may become the best platform for realizing the normalization between Armenian-Turkish relations, Ashotian explained, adding that the United States also has a positive impact on the normalization of relations.
The conference was part ofthe Eurasia Partnership Foundation’s Armenia-Turkey Initiative, which promotes improved dialogue and cooperation between representatives of the non-government, government and private sectors in Armenia and their Turkish counterparts.