ANKARA (Combined Sources)—The Obama Administration doubts Turkey’s parliament will ratify agreements with Armenia to normalize relations and open borders unless progress registered in the protracted Nagorno-Karabakh peace process, US Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon said Friday on an official visit to the Turkish capital, the Turkish Milliyet daily newspaper reported.
“It will be difficult for the Turkish parliament to ratify the protocols signed with Armenia unless there is improvement in Nagorno Karabakh conflict,” Gordon said at a press conference, the Azeri Press Agency reported.
The US envoy was in Ankara meeting with top Turkish officials ahead of scheduled visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the United States on December 7. Erdogan is set to meet with US President Barack Obama for talks on a wide range of issues around Turkey’s growing influence in the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asia.
During his visit, Gordon also expressed U.S. concerns over Turkey’s growing ties with Syria and Iran.
Gordon said Washington was also “dissatisfied with Erdogan’s refusal to adhere to an indictment by the International Criminal Court against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. Erdogan’s government had refused to arrest the leader–who is wanted for war crimes in Darfur—during a scheduled visit to Turkey to attend a regional conference.
The US Envoy underscored Washington’s calls on Ankara to cooperate more closely with Washington in solving international problems.