YEREVAN, February 10. /ARKA/. Turkey no longer has reasons to keep the border with Armenia closed, Armenian Foreign Minister Ara Aivazian said in parliament on Wednesday.
“I am sure that under pressure from the international community Turkey should return to a natural process. First of all, I mean that from now on there is no reason for it to continue the blockade against Armenia. As you know, the blockade, the closure of borders were conditioned by the status quo in Artsakh, which changed through the use of force,” he said.
On September 27, 2020, Azerbaijani armed forces, backed by Turkey and foreign mercenaries and terrorists, attacked Nagorno-Karabakh along the entire front line using rocket and artillery weapons, heavy armored vehicles, military aircraft and prohibited types of weapons such as cluster bombs and phosphorus weapons.
After 44 days of the war, on November 9, the leaders of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a statement on the cessation of all hostilities. According to the document, the parties stopped at where they were at that time. The town of Shushi, the districts of Agdam, Kelbajar and Lachin were handed over to Azerbaijan, with the exception of a 5-kilometer corridor connecting Karabakh with Armenia.
A Russian peacekeeping contingent was deployed along the contact line in Karabakh and along the Lachin corridor. Internally displaced persons and refugees are returning to Karabakh and adjacent regions, prisoners of war, hostages and other detained persons and bodies of the dead are being exchanged.
According to Aivazian, no process is underway at the moment, but Armenia and Armenian diplomacy will make efforts to ensure that the immediate environment of the country becomes favorable for strengthening the security of Armenia and Artsakh.
“In the future, opening of borders will create both opportunities and serious challenges. And we, as a state, as a society, must be ready to both prevent challenges and use opportunities,” he said.
The minister also commented on the Azerbaijani-Turkish military exercises in Kars, noting that any military exercises give cause for concern.
The Turkish Defense Ministry said that the purpose of the maneuvers is to ensure coordination of actions during joint operations, as well as to test new weapons and vehicles.
“Any military exercises give cause for concern, and we, on the one hand, see such manifestations, and on the other hand we see various messages coming from Turkey,” he said.
Aivazian believes that it is customary in diplomacy to convey certain messages, but, taking into account the factor of Turkey, the time has come to be guided not by messages, but, first of all, by actions.
On December 24, 1991, Turkey officially recognized the Republic of Armenia, but still refuses to establish diplomatic relations with it.
In 1993, Turkey unilaterally closed its air and land borders with Armenia in solidarity with Azerbaijan. The air border was opened in 1995 under pressure from the international community. In order to open the land border and establish diplomatic relations with Armenia, Turkey wanted it to return to Azerbaijan the regions under the control of the Nagorno-Karabakh in Nagorno-Karabakh and drop efforts for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Some reconciliation in the relations started in autumn 2008 initiated by Armenia’s president Serzh Sargsyan. Foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey signed protocols about establishing diplomatic relations in Zurich on October 10 2009 to be ratified by the parliaments. On April 22 2010 Armenia’s president Sargsyan suspended the ratification process saying Turkey was not ready to continue the process. Ratification of the protocols has been frozen.