Baku, Azerbaijan, April 24
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
The relations between Turkey and Armenia can be restored only after liberation of Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia, deputy head of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, Mehmet Ali Shahin said on April 24 in his interview with the country's TRT Haber TV channel.
Turkey has repeatedly said this, according to the party's deputy head.
"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says in all his statements that only after liberation of Azerbaijan's occupied territories, the normalization of relations and opening of Turkish-Armenian borders can be a topic of discussions," he added.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the U.S. are currently holding peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by C.N.