ANKARA (Hurriyet)—The Armenia-Turkey protocols will reaffirm Turkey’s borders with Armenia as outlined by the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during a press conference Thursday.
In response to a question about the comparisons made between Turkey’s Lausanne Treaty and the protocols with Armenia, the minister added that the protocols are an agreement with Armenia outlining bi-lateral relations.
The protocols are expected to be signed by foreign ministers of Turkey and Armenia in Zurich on Saturday. Davutoglu asserted that the specifics of the ceremony are to be announced by the Swiss foreign ministry.
“Do not look to voices coming from the [Armenian] diaspora, or from other places. Everything is running its natural course. There is no surprise development on our part concerning this issue, but this is naturally a statement that should be made by Switzerland due to its position,” Davutoglu told a joint press conference along with his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Balazs, in Ankara.
Switzerland is expected to make a statement clarifying the details with regard to the signing ceremony, including its venue and the participants.
Turkish diplomats, however, made assurances that the signing ceremony would take place. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russia at the ministerial level are expected to be present at the ceremony, though it has not been confirmed officially.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced earlier that the protocols would be signed Saturday, although this has not been officially confirmed by Armenia.
“Let’s wait for a statement from the Swiss,” Davutoglu said.
Questioned about Turkey’s participation in the process, Davutoglu said, “Of course, Turkey has basic principles on the issue of participation, which is known by the parties. We believe that all of these parties will calmly reach a solution.”
Replying to another question on the soccer match between the Turkish and Armenian national teams in Bursa on Oct. 14, the minister said Ankara expected President Serzh Sarkisian to come to Turkey to watch the national match with no preconditions.
Davutoglu recalled Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s visit to Yerevan last year to watch the match and said the president demonstrated big political courage that led to positive results.
“Now, similarly, we would like Mr. Sarkisian to come to Turkey with no preconditions, with no expectations. It is not even correct to make this an issue of discussion. Sporting matches are such where fairness, friendship and humanitarian communities come to the fore. From this perspective, we expect Mr. Sarkisian to come to Turkey and we believe that will happen,” said Davutoglu.
Asked about Thursday’s meeting between the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in Moldova to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, the minister said, “We naturally expect positive results.”