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Another chance to restore Turkish-Armenian relations may not appear soon: LINKS

Politics Materials 17 December 2009 12:49 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 17 / Trend E.Ostapenko /

Turkey and Armenia should not miss the right moment to ratify the protocols to restore their relations. The next chance may not come again soon, British NGO LINKS Executive Director Dennis Sammut said.

"There is a fine balance between moving forward cautiously and moving too slowly in a way that you loose the momentum," Sammut wrote Trend in an e-mail. "If they lose this moment, it may not come back for many years."

The Armenian president ordered to prepare amendments to the law on international treaties that envisage allowing the country to withdraw its signature from such documents, constitutional law expert Grayr Tovmasyan was quoted as saying by the Armenian Mediamax news agency. Such a procedure has been adopted in many countries and is a more aggressive step than the non-ratification of this document, he said.

Sammut believes the political leaderships of both Armenia and in Turkey are determined to push through the ratification of the protocols agreed upon by the two countries in Zurich in October. However, both governments are aware of the concerns existing in both societies about this issue and the need to tread carefully.

Diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey have been broken due to Armenia's claims of an alleged genocide and its occupation of Azerbaijani lands. The border between the two nations has been closed since 1993.

In addition to the so-called "Armenian genocide" in 1915, Armenia has voiced territorial claims on Turkish lands in eastern Anatolia. However, despite the long-term controversy, in April the two countries agreed on a "road map" for the normalization of relations.

The Turkish parliament has postponed the consideration of the protocols indefinitely. After the protocols are signed in the Turkish parliament, they should be referred for ratification to the Armenian parliament.

According to Sammut, there were "moments of brinkmanship" in the ratification process of the Turkish-Armenian protocols, as well as a crisis in the last minute attempts and untimely action for the detriment of the other side.

"There is no space for this in the current circumstances and those who indulge in these tactics will be damned by history," he added.

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