Head of Armenian parliament committee: Armenia needs to talk to Turkey

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YEREVAN, April 10. /ARKA/ Armenia needs to talk to Turkey to improve relations, Andranik Kocharyan, chairman of a parliamentary committee on defense and security issues from the ruling My Step alliance, told reporters on Friday, commenting on statements made by top officials about the need to improve relations with Turkey.

“I have always said that we should talk to Turkey. Even during the first war in Artsakh in 1990s we talked to them,” Kocharyan said, citing the visits to Turkey by the first president of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan, as well as various formats of dialogue held in Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhichevan.

‘Even ex-president Serzh Sargsyan conducted a dialogue in the form of football diplomacy. This is normal; speaking is better than shooting. I think that our foreign ministry should find answers to how to do this,” Kocharyan said.

In a recent interview to Russian news agency Interfax Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said

Turkey needs to give up its aggressive policy towards Armenia.

Pashinyan recalled that the Armenian-Turkish border was unilaterally closed by Turkey back in 1993 in a sign of solidarity with Azerbaijan, while Armenia has always advocated the unconditional normalization of relations with Turkey, but this was rejected by Turkey itself.

“Ankara’s hostile policy gained new scope during the 44-day aggression by Azerbaijan against Artsakh,” Pashinyan said, adding that Turkey provided Azerbaijan with direct military, political and technical support, having also deployed foreign armed terrorist fighters to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

“In this context, in order to establish a lasting peace and restore the economic image of the region, Turkey needs to change this aggressive policy towards Armenia,” Pashinyan said.

During a recent visit to the Armavir province, Pashinyan stated that the long-term program of Armenia should be peace not war. He stated that Armenia has numerous enemies in the region. “But if we have numerous enemies in the region, it means that we are enemies for many in the region,” he said.

In his opinion, Armenia should reconsider its assessment of the region, its behavior, its position in the region, also making sure that others also behave in this way.

A day earlier, Secretary of the Security Council Armen Grigoryan said in an interview with Public Television that Armenia should unblock communications not only with Azerbaijan, but also with Turkey.

Turkey officially recognized the Republic of Armenia on December 24, 1991, but still refuses to establish diplomatic relations with it. In 1993, Turkey unilaterally closed its air and land borders with Armenia. The air border was opened in 1995 under pressure from the international community.

The uneasy relationship between the countries is caused by Ankara’s support to Azerbaijan on Karabakh problem and Turkey’s overreaction to international recognition of the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Empire.

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