by Tatevik Shahunyan
Turkey is to blame for the failure to advance in the normalization of ties with Armenia because the government of Recep Erdogan demands "impossible" pre- conditions, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian says in an interview with Buenos Aires Herald.
"Our president attempted to normalize relations between our two countries. We agreed on two protocols to normalize our relations, including the establishment of diplomatic relations. Unfortunately, after the signing ceremony - which took place in Zurich in October, 2009 - the Turkish Parliament hasn't been able to ratify and implement agreements and Turkey is now coming up with new pre-conditions," he says.
When speaking of the significance of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Nalbandian says, "It was the first genocide of the 20th century. And unfortunately, the fact that it was not recognized by the international community at the time made it possible for other genocides to take place. So we feel a responsibility as a people who suffered the first genocide in the 20th century not to allow new crimes against humanity in the future."
Regarding Turkey's refusal to acknowledge the scale of the killings, the Foreign Minister said that "it has less to do with the reparations that the Turkish state would have to pay to Armenian families (of victims), than with the fact that it is difficult to look at your own people in the eye and say: 'we've been lying to you for 99 years'."
Armenians around the world will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide next year and Nalbandian says he is confident "that many countries in the world will express their solidarity to the Armenian people."