Turkey must stop ‘aggressive’ policy to normalise relations with Armenia - foreign minister

Armenia’s foreign minister said that he expects Turkey to alter its policy away from aggression if it is truly seeking regional peace, Armenpress reported on Monday. 

Ara Aivazian told members of Armenia’s parliament that there was currently no process in place to normalise relations with Turkey, denying rumours that Yerevan was conducting consultations to that end.

"Both in international and interstate relations, the most important thing is the principle of reciprocity. And our truly honest, without preconditions, initiative to regulate relations were not reciprocated by the official Ankara," Aivazian said. 

Aivazian accused Turkey of spreading “Armenophobia” throughout the region, but cautioned that it was always possible to build relations in the future.

"I hope that sooner or later Turkey will also realize it. So, I do not think that Turkey will never change its Armenian-phobic behavior," he said.

Turkey-Yerevan relations have remained persistently poor since Armenia achieved independence after the fall of the Soviet Union. Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan during last year’s war for control of the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh pushed relations to a deeper low. In the aftermath of the conflict, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that a new relationship was possible but conditioned it on Yerevan changed its leadership and take unspecified “positive steps” to boost ties. 

Meanwhile, Armenia’s wartime Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has announced his intention to resign in April ahead of early elections. 

The 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will take place on April 24. Turkey still refuses to acknowledge the 1915 genocide of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenians during the First World War, and has harshly reacted to countries officially recognising the event.