25 January 2007,;Statement of Mr.Levent Bilman, the Spoksman of the Ministry of Foriegn Affairs of Turkey in Response to Question (Unofficial translation )


We closely follow the recent press reports about the remarks by the Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Mr Arman Kirakossian, who reportedly suggested that “Armenia stands ready to establish relations with Turkey without any preconditions”. Since similar statements have been made by the Armenian Government at various times before, the latest statement does not signify a new opening.

Turkey maintains its willingness to develop ties on mutual trust and respect with all its neighbors. However it should be emphasized that development and strengthening of bilateral and regional relations and cooperation cannot only depend on Turkey’s steps, but can be realized through the will and reciprocal positive steps of all concerned sides. In relation to our will to further develop dialogue with Armenia, Turkey has taken a series of constructive and concrete steps to that end, at various times. Our proposal to establish a Joint History Commission is a clear manifestation of this position. As a vivid example of this attitude, a meeting was held in Istanbul in a constructive and positive atmosphere with Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr Arman Kirakossian, who came to Turkey to attend late Mr. Hrant Dink’s funeral.

We sincerely hope that last week’s tragic event in Turkey would contribute to creating a new climate in the Turkish-Armenian relations, and that Armenia would reciprocate our well-intentioned efforts aimed at surmounting the current stagnation in our relations.