US: Ratification of Armenia-Turkey protocols a difficult process

April 19, 2010, Monday/ 16:44:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN
The US administration has expressed awareness of the fact that parliamentary ratification of deals envisioning normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey, which is required for the implementation of the deals, is a “difficult process” that involves “emotion” and “risk” on both sides.

The issue concerning the efforts made by Armenia and Turkey for normalizing their bilateral ties, which have been stalled for a number of reasons, was on the agenda of three separate bilateral talks between Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week in Washington.

During a daily press briefing on Friday, the day after Clinton and Davutoğlu’s third meeting, State Department spokesperson Philip J. Crowley was reminded of Azerbaijan’s objections regarding the rapprochement process and was asked, “Does the American side work with their Azerbaijani counterparts to somehow resolve these issues?”

“There are things that both countries have committed to do. There are difficult processes working with their respective parliaments. We have the same experience in this country where the executive branch can make a commitment that has to work with Congress in terms of implementing that or getting ratification of that. We know this is a difficult process. We know it involves emotion on both sides, risk on both sides, and we will continue to work constructively with Armenia and Turkey to try to see this process through,” Crowley responded, without elaborating on whether the US administration has been exerting effort to deal with Baku’s recalcitrance on the issue.

A previous question at the briefing invited Crowley to disclose details of Clinton and Davutoğlu’s Thursday meeting in regards to Armenia-Turkey relations.

“We obviously had very meaningful discussions this week, both with the Turkish side, with the Armenian side, and we continue to try to find the right formula working with both countries. And clearly, we’re also supporting the Minsk process regarding Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. We are -- the process has stalled from last fall when the countries signed the protocols on normalization. We want to see Turkey and Armenia ratify those protocols, normalize relations, open borders. That has significant benefits for both countries. And we continue to work with both to see if we can find the right formula, the right timing to see ratification and the benefits that come with ratification,” Crowley said.

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