Turkish FM: Our primary aim is comprehensive peace in the region

Photo: Turkish FM: Our primary aim is comprehensive peace in the region / Turkey

Our primary is a comprehensive peace in the region Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday as he made a landmark visit to the country's long-time foe, Armenia, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Accompanied by Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu, Davutoglu visited Yerevan for the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) group meeting. The top diplomat met with his Armenian counterpart, Edward Nalbandian, on the sidelines of the summit.

"We are very pleased with the meeting with Nalbandian; it was candid. The primary aim is to build an environment of dialogue on a strong basis," Davutoglu said after the meeting, while dismissing claims that he suggested to Armenia that it withdraw from two regions in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Davutoglu expressed his hope that a collective consciousness between the two countries could be created with a "just memory."

"We say 'just memory.' What I mean with that is we should know the facts. Then we see that Turkish-Armenian relations do not date back like German-Jewish ties. In every street, there is a common sign.

Yerevan wants Ankara to recognize the mass killings of Armenians during the forced deportation in World War I as genocide, but Turkey has steadfastly refused to do so.

Primary aim not to open border

"Our primary aim is not open only the Turkish-Armenian border but to form a foundation that will pave the way for a comprehensive peace," Davutoglu said. "It has three pillars. The first one is relations between Turkey and Armenia. The second one is Azerbaijani-Armenian relations. This also includes Georgian-Abkhaz ties. The third one is relations between Turks and Armenians," he said.

Turkey and Armenia signed protocols in 2009 to establish diplomatic relations and open their sealed borders, but neither succeeded in completing the process for different reasons.

"If one of the pillars is crippled, it will create distress. Let's say we opened the Armenian border gate. If a war breaks out between Armenia and Azerbaijan, then we would be forced to close it again. The hardest thing is to defrost the iceberg of the status quo. You could start a war when you trying to defrost it," he said.

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