Armenia withdraws protocols with Turkey from parliament

- The protocols, aimed at normalizing relations between the two countries, were signed in 2009, as a result of a landmark process facilitated by Switzerland.

YEREVAN, Armenia (AA) - Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced Monday his decision to withdraw from parliament the Armenian-Turkish protocols that aimed to normalize relations between the two countries.

According to the Armenian news agency, Armenpress, the Armenian president’s office said that Sargsyan had sent a letter to the chairman of the National Assembly, Galust Sargsyan, informing him of his decision to withdraw the “Protocol on Establishment of Diplomatic Relations ” and “Protocol on Development of Relations” between Turkey and Armenia.

The two protocols were signed on Oct. 10, 2009, as a result of a landmark negotiation process facilitated by Switzerland, which remain suspended in Armenian parliament since 2010.

Turkey and Armenia, two neighboring countries, have no diplomatic relations.

Turkish Foreign Ministry has repeatedly said that Turkey wishes to normalize bilateral relations with Armenia, and within this perspective it started “to unilaterally implement certain confidence-building measures.”

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has said that the Armenian government sent the protocols to its Constitutional Court for approval.

“Consequently, the court found the protocols to be commensurate with the Armenian constitution with its reasoned statement, which contained contradictory elements to the letter and the spirit of the protocols,” the Turkish ministry says.

On April 22, 2010, the Armenian president suspended the ratification process of the protocols.

- Armenian-Turkey ties

During the First World War, the Ottoman Empire approved a deportation law for Armenians amid their uprising with the help of the invading Russian army. As a result, an unknown number of people died in civil strife.

Armenian diaspora and state of Armenia term the incidents as "genocide" and ask for compensation, whereas Ankara maintains that while Armenians died during deportation, many Turks also died because of the attacks by Armenian gangs all around Anatolia.

The high-tension rhetoric between Armenia and Turkey reached new high this year when Turkish president’s invitation for Armenian president to visit Turkey was refused.

In mid January, the Turkish president sent invitation letters to more than 100 leaders, including Sargsyan to participate in the commemoration of the Battle of Canakkale on April 24.

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