Armenia reluctant to vote peace deal before Turkey

Accords aimed at normalise Turkey-Armenia ties must be voted on by Turkish parliament before Armenia's parliament will approve, Armenia's president said.

Armenia reluctant to vote peace deal before Turkey

Accords aimed at normalise relations between Turkey and Armenia must be voted on by the Turkish parliament before Armenia's parliament will approve them, Armenia's president said on Wednesday.

Turkey and Armenia agreed last year to establish diplomatic ties and open their common border within two months of parliamentary approval.

The accords were signed with the endorsement of the United States, European Union and Russia, but Turkish government has accused Armenia of trying to re-write the texts.

Sarksyan said he would tell his staff on Wednesday to submit the accords to the Armenian parliament, but that Turkey's parliament would have to be first to ratify them.

"The parliament of Armenia will vote on the protocols if the Turkish parliament goes ahead with that," he said, answering questions at the Chatham House thinktank in London.

"Otherwise we can find ourselves in a situation where the Armenian parliament ratifies and the Turkish parliament fails to," he argued, speaking through an interpreter.

Sarksyan said he could "guarantee" a positive vote in the Armenian parliament "if the Turkish side does it in a reasonable time frame and without pre-conditions".

But he said Turkish officials had said their parliament was independent and its decisions unpredictable.

The deal would bring big economic gains to poor, landlocked Armenia. Turkey would burnish its credentials as a potential EU entry state and boost its clout in the South Caucasus, a region criss-crossed by pipelines carrying oil and gas to the West.

Turkey has also warned that the peace process could fail unless it was carried out properly.

It has demanded that ethnic Armenian forces pull back from the frontlines of the disputed mountain region of Nagorno- Karabakh as a condition for ratifying the peace deal.

Sarksyan said he would invite Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev if a ceremony was held to mark the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border.

Reuters

Last Mod: 11 Şubat 2010, 08:26
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