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Home arrow newsitems arrow Armenian President Sargsyan: Turkey Deadlocked Talks claiming Karabagh but Final Positions Time came

Armenian President Sargsyan: Turkey Deadlocked Talks claiming Karabagh but Final Positions Time came

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 22 June 2011

 

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The President of Armenia, which will chair the CoE in a year and a half (beginning of 2013), Serzh Sargsyan, speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg, including "EuroFora", stressed that "Time has come for Final Positions" on the Nagorno-Karabach issue, that Turkey exploited in order to "provoke a Deadlock" in earlier attempts to normalize relations with Armenia, whose "illegal Blockade" by Ankara "must end", as he denounced afterwards in his speech to CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly, at the eve of a Top Level meeting at Kazan in Russia, hosted by President Medvedev, for Peace-Talks in the framework of OSCE's "Minsk" process, comprising also France and USA.  
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-  "I'm ready to travel to Kazan in good faith and Good Expectations to engage in Constructive Talks", even if it's true that this has been a "rather Long Process of Talks", which "has Many Issues", Sargsyan replied to a question on Friday's forthcoming event.


- But, "the Positions of the Parties are Clear", and now, "I think that the Time has come for the parties to express their Final Positions on the Fundamental Principles" for a Soluion of the Nagorno-Karabach issue, the Armenian President stressed.
- However, "we'll Wait to See how the Talks actually End", he concluded carefully.
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- Normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia should have resulted to a re-establishment of Diplomatic Relations, and at the Opening of the Border line, between the two countries, he reminded afterwards, speaking of the process which had started "2 years ago".


- But, on the contrary, it resulted into a Deadlock, for the clear reason that Turkey came back to its previous practice of raising Preliminary Conditions", and "didn't honor its commitment to sign the Protocols", Sargsyan denounced.


- "Having faced this Wall of Deception and Suspicion, (by Turkey) I regret to say that I can't predict when we might be anew able to seize a new opportunity. That's the Truth", the Armenian President warned.  While it was Armenia who had launched this process for peaceful coexistence, on the contrary, the other party, Turkey, still doesn't feel that it's necessary, Sargsyan criticized.


 - Instead of that, Ankara is engaged in a Brutal Negationism of the Armenian Genocide committed in the Turkish-Ottoman Empire on 1915. But, in the meantime, Armenians, throughout the World, always try to bring positions against these Crimes, focused in an International Recognition of the Armenian Genocide, he added.

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- However, "this illegal Blockade of Armenia" by Turkey, "must End !", he stressed."We can't leave this Problem Pending for the Generations to come, without any normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey, which is important for peace and cooperation in the region, reiterated in conclusion Sargsyan, who is notoriously facing a strong political Opposition inside Armenia for his past attempts of rapprochemen to Turkey, as, among others, f.ex. a particularly Critical intervention of Dissident Armenian MEP Mrs Zaruhi Postanjyan. Meanwhile, Parliamentarian Elections are due in 2012, and Presidentials on 2013.
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 The Turkish Government has been officialy and repeatedly asked by the EU to normalize its relations also with Cyprus, but Ankara still persists to refuse to do so, even at the risk to provoke sometimes serious problems in the cooperation between EU and NATO, (whose 60th Anniversary, Heads of State/Government Summit, on April 2009 in Strasbourg, Turkey notoriously .. blocked for almost 2 Days, with various claims against the election of its New Secretary General, former Danish Prime Minister, Rasmussen : See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from that Historical NATO Summit, which coincided also with the 1st visit of USA President Obama to Europe).
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Turkey had notoriously used the Talks' with Armenia as a Timely pretext to claim that it would be making "Progress" on its EU Obligations, at an earlier, crucial moment, precisely when an important EU Decision on EU-Turkey Negotiations was due. But, afterwards, Ankara apparently let the process be blocked, once Turkey obtained what it wanted, after a very Mediatised meeting in Geneva...
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Meanwhile, an official "Written Declaration",  signed by 30 MEPs from all CoE Assembly's Political Groups and from various CoE Member Countries, (including f.ex.  France, EU chair Hungary, Switzerland, Czech and Slovak Republics, Greece, Romania, Lithuania, San Marino, Armenia, Sweden, etc), was circulating inside CoE's Assembly in Strasbourg, denouncing that Karabach ("Artsah"), in fact, "was never a part of the Azerbaijani Republic, that existed from 1918-1920", to which, nowadays modern "Azerbaijan declared itself the Successor".


- "It was (only) because of a Kemalist (Attaturk) - Bolshevik (Stalin) "Deal" (of 1922) that Artshak had become part of Soviet Azerbaijan" only, from which, "in 1990, the People of Karabagh Voted "Yes" to Independence, through a Referendum that was (reportedly) observed and recognized by numerous International Observers", according to the Liberty given then by the Post-Soviet CIS to all its former Entities to freely choose between remaining part of the CIS and/or Russia, or peacefully declaring their Independence, (as, f.ex., Azerbaijan itself did). "But, Refusing to accept the Arstsakh Armenians' lawful exercice of their Right to Self-Determination, Azerbaijan launched a large-scale Attack, which ended with the 1994 Ceasefire", the MEPs' Declaration notes, speaking also of a "2006 Constitutional Referendum" and asking "International Recognition and Membership in all International Organisations".


The claim that Nagorno-Karabach had never been Azerbaidjan's Land, had already been made in CoE's Assembly by former Armenian President Kotcharian some years earlier in Strasbourg. But the current President Sargsyan didn't say anything about it this time.


Turkey has notoriously been using the Nagorno-Karabach issue, and Azeri as well as Armenian People's sufferings from the unresolved conflict, in an indirect, covert but evident Propaganda which systematically  disguises it as a kind of ..."Clone" of Cyprus' Occupied Territories, obviously copying Nicosia's well-known 1974 complaints (mainly about Refugees/Displaced Persons, need to respect Territorial Integrity, withdraw Foreign Occupation Troops, etc), with a Delay of more than 20 Years later, (after the Middle of the 1990ies), but without conviencing anyone inside European, PanEuropean or International Organizations...
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+ "EuroFora" had agreed with Sargsyan's Press Attaché for a short question/reply, but when he kindly left us some seconds to raise our question, occupied to conclude notes of Sargsyan's previous statement (See supra), we didn't seize on time the given opportunity, despite our willingness, as the Armenian President apparently understood, smiling kindly to "EuroFora" after his speech at CoE's Assembly, while leaving Strasbourg after an initial, exceptionaly brief visit before Yerevan takes over CoE's rotating Chairmanship, in one year and a half...


Meanwhie, CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland said to Journalists in Strasbourg, including "EuroFora", that he thanked the Armenian President Sargsyan also for "News regarding the forthcoming meeting of the Minsk process", on efforts to solve the Nagorno-Karabagh issue, and observed that "for us (CoE) Armenia is a very important Country, located in a very important Region of Europe", between Urals and Ararat Mountains at the European part of Caucasus.

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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