No progress in Turkish-Armenian relations without Nagorno-Karabakh conflict solution: Johns Hopkins University expert
Without the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, there will be no progress in the Turkish-Armenian relations, said the director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins University said.
"Without solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkish-Armenian relations will not promote," said the director of the Institute Svante Cornell.
The protocol's final version will be signed by foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey, Ahmet Davudoglu and Edward Nalbandian on Oct.10 or Oct.11, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Trend in an exclusive interview.
On Aug. 31, Turkey and Armenia in the talks mediated by Switzerland reached an agreement to launch "internal political consultations" to sign the Protocol on Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and Protocol on Development of Bilateral Relations, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
"Political consultations will be completed within six weeks, and following that two protocols will be signed and submitted to the two countries' parliaments for approval," the ministry said.
"Both protocols create a base for normalizing bilateral relations," the Turkish Foreign Ministry stressed.
The Armenian-Turkish ties have been severed since 1993.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Signing and adopting protocol are different things, says Cornel.
According to him, Turkey will be able to restore diplomatic relations with Armenia, but without solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the borders between the two countries will not be opened.
The appearance of Ankara-Yerevan protocol on the agenda prior to the expected visit of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to Kishinev is not occasional, said Cornell. "The Government of Turkey hopefully expects the meeting of heads of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Kishinev, and hopes for achievement of positive results during the meeting. If some positive progress is achieved during the meeting, the Turkish-Armenian diplomatic relations can continue," said Cornell.
According to the director of the Institute, because of the positions and statements by the President of Armenia, there will be no progress at this meeting as well.