Opening borders between Turkey, Armenia will accelerate peace in South Caucasus: LINKS executive director
Azerbaijan, Baku, March 31 / Trend , E.Rustamov/
LINKS Executive Director Dennis Sammut said establishing diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey and opening the border between the two nations will help resolve the Karabakh conflict.
A high-ranking EU official expressed hope that the Turkey-Armenia borders will reopen after U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Turkey in April, the Turkish Sabah newspaper reported.
Oboma will visit Turkey on April 5-7.
"Armenia and Turkey have a number of outstanding issues in their relations that are quite separate from the Karabakh conflict. Recently, relations between the two countries have improved. There is now talk that they will establish diplomatic relations and open their border. This will be an important and positive development for the entire region. Sooner or later, all the countries in the region will benefit from this development," Sammut wrote Trend via email.
Turkey cannot contribute to the peace process without diplomatic relations with Armenia.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia 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.
The opening of the border will give Armenia space to maneuver and make it less dependent on Russia.