Kars province governor: Turkey to be glad at opening of border with Armenia after Azerbaijani lands released
The Turkish Interior Ministry sent a request to the administrative centers of Kars and Igdir on Tuesday, demanding to call the approximate time for completion of preparatory work in case of opening the border between Turkey and Armenia, Turkish news agency Cihan reported.
Kars province governor Ahmet Kara said that while opening the Turkish-Armenian border, one should not forget about the interests of Azerbaijan.
"At previous meetings it was clear that the border will be opened if Armenia liberates Azerbaijani occupied territories. Of course, we will be glad at the opening of the border in such circumstances," Kara said.
The border between Turkey and Armenia was closed in 1993 because of claims of Yerevan to recognize the so-called "Armenian genocide" in the world and the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia.
Kara said that despite the agreement on establishing of diplomatic relations between Ankara and Yerevan, signed last October in Zurich by foreign ministers of both countries has not been ratified yet, the administrations of Kars and Igdir sent an inquiry how much time it will be required for the opening of borders between countries, if such a decision is taken, and how long the connections will be restored.
Kara said that if all the conditions for the opening of the eastern border are agreed, it will be ready in a month.
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 the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.