Ambassador: Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to be discussed during Turkish president's visit to Baku
Azerbaijan, Baku, August 5 / Trend U. Sadikhova /
During the forthcoming visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Azerbaijan, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be one of the main topics on the agenda, Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Hulusi Kilic said.
"This is a common problem in the region, and especially for Turkey. Everyone must understand and accept that Turkey considers the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a national issue," Kilic said, adding that the exact date of Turkish President Gul's visit has not been determined yet.
According to some Turkish media, the visit should take place in August.
Despite the fact that Turkey can normalize relations with Armenia, Armenia must be reconciled with Azerbaijan and resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"If Armenia wants peace with one brother [Turkey], it must be reconciled with other. Turkey seeks to establish regional peace, rather than the normalization of relations between the two countries," Kilic said.
He expressed Ankara's disappointment at the process of putting off the truce, pointing out that Western countries, instead of putting pressure on Turkey, must deal with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
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.
"Instead of calling for Turkey to open the border with Armenia, the Western countries, which are friendly to Azerbaijan, must demonstrate their sincerity to put an end to injustice in the region - the return of Azerbaijani occupied lands and execution of four resolutions of the UN Security Council," Kilic said.
He said that if Turkey keeps its border with Armenia closed for 17 years, this is a forcible argument.
The border between the countries was closed in 1993 because of Yerevan's claims to recognize the so-called "Armenian genocide" in the world and the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenian forces.
Regarding the talks between Azerbaijani and TurkishForeign Ministers in the Turkish town of Bodrum this week, the ambassador said that they will be informal, and cover the issues of the Turkic world in general.
Besides Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, foreign ministers of Turkic-speaking countries of Central Asia will attend the meeting at the invitation of Turkish Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
"I appreciate this meeting, because it involves the cooperation of the Turkic world and future prospects," the ambassador said.