Armenian-Turkish protocol to be sent to Turkish parliament next week (UPDATE)
Updated after seventh paragraph
Next week, the Armenian-Turkish protocol will be sent to the Turkish parliament for consideration, said the Turkish government spokesman Jemil Chichek, CNN Turk reported.
Protocol will be sent to the Turkish Grand National Assembly next week, but the date has not yet been clarified, and only the Parliament will decide whether to vote on the protocol," said Chichek.
Turkish and Armenian Foreign Ministers, Ahmet Davutoglu and Edward Nalbandian signed the protocol Ankara-Yerevan in Zurich on Oct. 10.
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 reported.
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 reported.
Armenian-Turkish ties have been severed since 1993 due to Armenia's claims to recognize so-called "Armenian genocide" and Armenia's occupation of Azerbaijani lands.
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.
Serious progress is not expected to take place without settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh problem, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday.
According to Chichek, signing protocol with Armenia is part of Turkey's policy to establish stability and peace in the Caucasus.
Concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Chichek said that Armenia should withdraw from the occupied Azerbaijani territories. "Turkey hopes that steps to improve relations with Armenia will positively affect the Karabakh conflict solution," said Chichek.
Another major problem, which Turkey hopes to resolve, is unfair accusations against Turkey of committing "genocide" against Armenians, said Chichek.
Turkey is ready to face its history, and therefore, according to the protocol, a special commission composed of historians will be established.
"We are ready to prove the truth and lies about the events of 1915, and let the scientists work on this," said Chichek.
According to the protocol, Armenia should also recognize the borders of Turkey, Chichek said.