15 Dec 2017 13:53

Yerevan confirms intention to annul protocols on normalizing relations with Turkey

YEREVAN. Dec 15 (Interfax) - Armenia's intention to annul Armenian-Turkish protocols on the normalization of bilateral relations remains unchanged, Armenian Foreign Ministry press secretary Tigran Balayan said.

"Our position was last voiced by the Armenian foreign minister in Athens. And it remains unchanged," Balayan told Interfax on Thursday.

"As for other issues, including Karabakh, Turkey has no business [there], and it had better stay out," he said.

In his speech given at the Greek Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, the Armenian foreign minister said that Yerevan would annul the Armenian-Turkish protocols by spring 2018.

The process of normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations began on the Armenian president's initiative in fall 2008, he said. As a result, protocols on the establishment of diplomatic relations and on the development of relations to be ratified by the two countries' parliaments were signed by the foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey in Zurich in October 2009.

"To this day, these documents have not been ratified, because Turkey has set groundless preconditions that contradict the letter and spirit of the protocols. The president of Armenia said in September that Armenia would declare the protocols invalid because there is no positive headway on their implementation, and we will greet spring 2018 without these protocols," Nalbandian said.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement earlier on Thursday saying that Ankara remains committed to the protocols and is ready to ratify them if there is a favorable political atmosphere and peace in Southern Caucasus.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in the UN General Assembly session in New York in September that Yerevan was ready to annul the Armenian-Turkish protocols.