Armenia blames Turkey for deadlock in normalizing ties
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on Tuesday blamed neighboring Turkey for the deadlock in normalizing bilateral relations after nearly a century of bitterness over Armenian deaths in the late days of the Ottoman Empire. "I think we do not need to do more unless the Turks ratify these protocols in their Parliament," Sargsyan told journalists, referring to landmark protocols signed by Armenia and Turkey in 2009. "It was our desire – that desire has not fully faded yet – to establish relations with Turkey, without preconditions," Sarkisian added at a joint news conference with Slovenian President Danilo Turk at the beginning of a two-day visit. The reconciliation drive has faltered amid mutual accusations that the other side is not committed to the terms of the deal, prompting Armenia one year ago to freeze the ratification process of the accords. Sargsyan said, however, that Yerevan suspended the ratification process in its Parliament "quite some time after the Turks refused to perform this process [in their own Parliament]." Armenia has accused Ankara of making new demands over the protocols, but Sargsyan insisted: "Armenia is not ready and will never accept any of these preconditions."