Turkish opposition, Azerbaijani government’s tough position prevents opening of border with Armenia: John Hopkins University research director
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 13 / Trend , R. Hafizoglu/
U.S. John Hopkins University Central Asia and Caucasus Institute says Erdogan administration was ready to open border with Armenia without any conditions.
"The Justice and Development Party was ready to open Turkey-Armenia border without any condition. However, wining mall small part of votes in the municipal elections, opposition protests and Azerbaijani government's tough position prevented it," John Hopkins University Research Director Svante Cornell told Trend over telephone from Sweden.
Different circles in Turkey claim Turkey-Armenia borders will be opened.
Armenian-Turkish ties have been severed since 1993 due to Armenia's claims of an alleged genocide, and the country's occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul visited Yerevan on Sept. 6, 2008 upon the invitation of his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan to watch an Armenia-Turkey football match.
Efforts have been made to normalize ties between the two countries ever since.
Following strong protests by the Turkish and Azerbaijani public, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters earlier last week that Turkey will not open borders with Armenia until Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved.
AK Party won 38.9 percent of votes in the municipal election on March 29 while the party won 46.58 in the 2007 elections.
Cornell said Armenians will not make any compromise regarding the so-called genocide once Turkey-Armenia border is opened. "Armenian diaspora's radical groups will not surrender this claim even after Turkey-Armenia border is opened," he said.
Cornel said the so-called Armenian genocide is not a serous issue for the U.S.
"The 'genocide' is not serious issue for the U.S. This is mainly problem of the Armenian lobby in the U.S.," he added.
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.
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