Current situation with Armenia-Turkey relations can’t last forever, so the perspective of rapprochement and border opening should be accepted. Scenarios of protecting regional interests should be developed, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Ambassador Peter Semneby stated.
According to him, the war in Georgia has shown everybody there are major risks related to continuation of territorial conflicts in the region. “This has given certain dynamics to Armenia-Turkey relations. Turkey has been long ago implementing steps, suggesting the country expects a change of situation at South Caucasus.”
”Russia is making investments in RA infrastructure, constructing railroads. The investments will be compensated only in case of border opening. Armenia was not the only one to start off the rapprochement. In-depth discussions are held in Turkey, where many believe the country can enhance its presence in the region should the issue be resolved. Conflict with Armenia restricted Turkey’s possibilities in South Caucasus to a great extent. Armenia-Turkey relations must not be linked to Karabakh conflict, otherwise, the possibilities for rapprochement will once again be lost.”
Semneby also noted that Armenian government is facing a number of challenges. According to him, Diaspora has taken ambiguous attitude towards rapprochement. ”This is a serious issue with RA government, which has to provide Diaspora’s support and consider Armenian citizens’ interests.”
Commenting on protocols’ ratification, Semneby stated: “100% ratification guarantee can’t be given. Yet I’m confident the documents will be ratified, which is equitable to both Armenia’s and Turkey’s interests. Personal benefit and not kind disposition towards Armenia drove Turkey to start this process. The rapprochement will open new possibilities, positively affect regional security and economics,” Vremya Novostey newspaper cited Semneby as saying.