YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Turkey must first observe neutrality on the Karabagh issue; second–it must recognize the Armenian Genocide: if these two conditions are satisfied–only then will it be possible to think about developing truly normal relations with Turkey," said Armenian Revolutionary (ARF) Supreme Body Representative Armen Rustamian in response to a Noyan Tapan reporter’s question. "Opening the borders does not at all mean establishing full relations," he said commenting on recent talks about Turkey possibly opening its borders to Armenia.
Rustamian emphasized the necessity of substantiating exactly what kind of relation Turkey aspires to establish. "It’s well known that Turkey consistently puts forth the same pre-conditions for the improvement of bilateral relations with Armenia–which are for Armenia to renounce deman’s that Turkey recognize the Armenian Genocide–and that Armenian troops leave what it calls "occupied territories" [NKR and the neighboring regions].
"They–in fact–do not observe neutrality on the issue of Karabagh–and make illogical deman’s in an attempt to sidetrack the issue of Genocide," Rustamian stated.
Armenia–on the other hand–constantly raises the question of Turkey lifting its blockade–pointed out Rustamian–and in turn–Turkey justifies the blockade by way of the Karabakh conflict–attempting to thrust Armenia in this direction.
"If the Turks are willing to open their borders and to lift the blockade–it’s another question. But if this is an attempt to begin to normalize relations–it is necessary to understand in what form they conceive this normalization," he explained. Rustamian added that Turkey must go beyond its present position and meet the deman’s of the European Union.
Concerning territorial claims–Rustamian said that Armenia has never expressed an official position. "The position of the ARF is another matter–based on the Armenian Case–as well as demand for reparations," stressed Rustamian.
Rustamian said that Turkey realizes that the problem will not be solved solely by the recognition of the Genocide. "That is why they want to use "diplomacy" to divert the issue."