On December 20, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Chavushoglu announced that Turkey signed the Armenian-Turkish protocols with the condition that Armenia will leave “Azerbaijan’s territories”.
“We have set a condition for the normalization of relations with Armenia… that the country will leave the Azerbaijani territories, after which the relations can be normalized”. According to Azerbaijani “APA” agency, Chavushoglu made that statement during the meeting with his Iranian and Azerbaijani colleagues in Baku.
In 2009, with Switzerland’s mediation, two documents were signed in the Swiss Zurich city as a result of negotiations between Turkey and Armenia: documents on “Establishing Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey”, and “Development of Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey”. The documents are known as the “Zurich Protocols”. These protocols should have served as a basis for the establishment of relations between the two countries and their development process.
However, Chavushoglu’s claim that a condition of leaving the “Azerbaijani territories” was set for the normalization of the relations is not fixed in these protocols and is disinformation.
The Zurich Protocols stipulate the consent of the parties “not to interfere in the internal affairs of other states”, as well as “their commitment to a peaceful settlement of regional and international disputes and conflicts on the basis of the norms and principles of international law”. The parties reaffirmed their readiness to support the actions of the international community against the common threats to security and stability in the region.
Those protocols do not mention about Armenia’s or Turkey’s commitments to a third party. It means that the condition mentioned by Chavushoglu in Baku is not fixed in the protocols.
The documents on establishment and development of the Armenian-Turkish relations were signed in Zurich, Switzerland by RA Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and then Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on August 10, 2009. The protocols did not specify the ratification deadlines. On April 22, 2010, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan made a decision to suspend the ratification process of those protocols. The Armenian side accuses Turkey of setting preconditions after signing of protocols. On September 19, 2017, within the framework of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Serzh Sargsyan announced that Armenia will enter the spring of 2018 without those protocols.