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Robert Kocharyan: Key reason why Armenian-Turkish relations have become worse is that Turkey is less committed to integrate into Europe

The key reason why Armenian-Turkish relations have become worse is that Turkey is less committed to integrate into Europe and has no more need to be friendly and tolerant, former President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan said in an interview to 2rd.am.

He said that Turkey’s policy to overcome its problems with neighbors have failed because of growing regional challenges. “Today the Turks are seeking dominance in the region. Azerbaijan can help them in the matter, so, they have become much more biased on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and even less willing to recognize the events that happened a century ago,” Kocharyan said.

He believes that the Armenian-Turkish protocols have made things even worse. “Though born still, they aroused much too high expectations from both the signatories and the world community. When unrealized, too high expectations make things even worse,” Kocharyan said.

He believes that the protocols helped Turkey to restrain the process for integration recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

“Armenia cannot just forget the events that happened 100 years ago. This is not only a matter of morality. This is a matter of security for both Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh,” Kocharyan said.

In 2009, the Armenian and Turkish FMs met in Zurich to initial protocols stipulating measures to normalize Armenian-Turkish relations and to reopen the Armenian-Turkish border closed by Turkey in 1993. Following Azerbaijan’s negative response, Turkey linked the ratification of the protocols with the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. Armenia could not accept such an attitude. As a result, the process stalled.

Recently Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan decided to withdraw the protocols from the Armenian Parliament. He said that Armenia was ready for both ratification and failure as it was clear who would be to blame if the protocols failed. Sargsyan said that the Turkish authorities had no political will to improve their relations with Armenia. On the contrary, as the 100th year of the Armenian Genocide is closing nigh, they become even more persistent in denying history.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry qualified Armenia’s step as erroneous and insincere.

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