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QA:19 -;7 May 2007, Statement of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in Response to a Question (Unofficial Translation)


The trip to Yerevan of a Turkish election observation team comprising eight academics, who were to be deployed at the Election Observation Mission (EOM) set up by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) prior to the Armenian parliamentary elections scheduled for 12th May 2007, was cancelled just hours ahead of its departure, upon the request of the OSCE officials referring to the decision of the Armenian authorities who declined to grant entry visas to the team members.

According to the information received from the OSCE officials, the Armenian authorities declined to issue entry visas to our team without giving any valid reason.

As is known, in line with the established practice, the OSCE/ODIHR observers operate under the aegis of the OSCE, and represent this international organization while carrying out their tasks.

Turkey’s designation of an election observation team to the parliamentary elections in Armenia is an indication of the close interest and attention attributed to the democratic evolution of Armenia, as well as to the normalization of the bilateral relations. Armenia constantly criticizes Turkey for avoiding taking the necessary steps that would lead to start of a dialogue between the two countries. Bearing this in mind, it should be emphasized that such prejudiced approach towards the EOM officials, whose presence could otherwise be perceived as a confidence building measure between the two countries, and declining to grant entry visas to the observers despite their OSCE credentials, has thus constituted a most unfortunate development on the part of Armenia.

This development has also shown that Armenia’s introvert formation, which is being fed by suspicions, as well as its position avoiding constructive dialogue, might lead to situations that are far from meeting the expectations of her integration with the international community and developing good neighbourly relations.

We therefore expect all concerned countries and international organizations that attach priority to the democratic development in Armenia, as well as to the regional peace and good-neighbourly relations; to draw appropriate conclusions and make assessments from this inexplicable decision of Armenia.