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Azerbaijan's deoccupation will aid Armenian-Turkish relations: Turkish PM

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 8 December 2009 12:38 (UTC +04:00)
During his official visit to Washington upon U.S. President Barack Obama's invitation, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan made a speech titled "Turkey in the 21st Century: Building Peace Through Diplomacy" at Johns Hopkins University. Over 400 people attended, including U.S. and Turkish politicians, the diplomatic corps, academics, press and students.
Azerbaijan's deoccupation will aid Armenian-Turkish relations: Turkish PM

U.S, Washington, Dec. 7 / Trend K.Pashayeva /

During his official visit to Washington upon U.S. President Barack Obama's invitation, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan made a speech titled "Turkey in the 21st Century: Building Peace Through Diplomacy" at Johns Hopkins University. Over 400 people attended, including U.S. and Turkish politicians, the diplomatic corps, academics, press and students.

In his speech, Erdogan noted Turkey's flexible and multi-vector foreign policy. The policy is not hostile toward any country and aims at establish regional peace and security. He said statements about the country changing its policy and becoming less pro-Western are unfounded, adding that "Turkey sees the world 360 degrees and is a country of global importance."

Erdogan also stressed Turkey's role as a bridge between the East and West, and its potential role in the rapprochement of European and Asian cultures, traditions and religions.

According to the politician, the West should be cautious toward the East, as double standards - however small - may cause significant damage.

Regarding Turkish-U.S. relations, Erdogan noted that since January 2009 they have reached a qualitatively new level and described them as a "partnership model" that goes beyond policy.

According to the PM, Turkey and the U.S. have a single agenda aimed at establishing global peace, which includes Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Caspian region, Africa and South Asia, as well as issues such a sterrorism, economic and financial crises and energy security.

The resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and liberation of seven Azerbaijani regions will contribute to the rapprochement of Armenian-Turkish relations, Erdogan said when responding to questions from the audience about how the opening of the Turkey-Armenia borders could affect the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict.

According to the PM, he also expressed this position during talks with Obama and discussed earlier the issue with Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev at the G8 meeting in Pittsburgh.

Regarding his reaction to Obama's statement about the 1915 events, Erdogan spoke about his letter to former Armenian President Robert Kocharyan in 2005, in which he proposed not politicizing the issue and opening historical archives. However, the Armenian side rejected the proposal under pressure from the diaspora.

Erdogan stressed that any claims are baseless without archival research.

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