Armenian, German FMs discuss Karabakh, relations with Turkey

Armenian, German FMs discuss Karabakh, relations with Turkey

PanARMENIAN.Net - Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he is hopeful that the upcoming meeting between the Armenian and Azerbaijani Presidents in Paris will help reach progress in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement.

During a joint news conference with the RA Foreign Minister in Yerevan, Steinmeier welcomed the readiness of the two leaders to meet on the initiative of French President François Hollande and voiced hope that the meeting will prove efficient.

Edward Nalbandian, in turn, emphasized that Armenia does its best for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, “however the same cannot be said about the Azerbaijani side.”

Dwelling on Armenia-Turkey relations, the German minister offered Berlin’s experience in post-war reconciliation to help forge peace a century after the Armenian Genocide.

“When it comes to the bloody history of the 20th century, in which Germany started two world wars, we should not present ourselves as the schoolmasters,” he said.

Steinmeier said Germany’s long road to partnership with France after two world wars could serve as an example following the 1915 slaughter and exile of Armenians during World War I.

“After a difficult century, we have reconciled by not keeping silent about our historical responsibility but by working through the horrific things that happened,” he said. “If our experience can be helpful, we are ready to offer it. But that must be decided here.”

Nalbandian said Armenia was ready to reduce tensions.

“Five years ago, on Armenia’s initiative, we started a process that led to the signature of the Zurich protocols — to make the normalization of our relations possible,” he said. “But Turkey is not respecting these agreements.”

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan

The conflict between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan broke out as result of the ethnic cleansing launched by the Azeri authorities in the final years of the Soviet Union. The Karabakh War was fought from 1991 (when the Nagorno Karabakh Republic was proclaimed) to 1994 (when a ceasefire was sealed by Armenia, NKR and Azerbaijan). Most of Nagorno Karabakh and a security zone consisting of 7 regions are now under control of NKR defense army. Armenia and Azerbaijan are holding peace talks mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group up till now.

The Armenian-Turkish Protocols

The Protocols aimed at normalization of bilateral ties and opening of the border between Armenia and Turkey were signed in Zurich by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on October 10, 2009, after a series of diplomatic talks held through Swiss mediation.

On January 12, 2010, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia found the protocols conformable to the country’s Organic Law.

Commenting on the CC ruling, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “it contains preconditions and restrictive provisions which impair the letter and spirit of the Protocols.” ”The decision undermines the very reason for negotiating these Protocols as well as their fundamental objective. This approach cannot be accepted on our part. Turkey, in line with its accustomed allegiance to its international commitments, maintains its adherence to the primary provisions of these Protocols. We expect the same allegiance from the Armenian government,” the Ministry said.

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