Azerbaijani ambassador to Turkey describes information of Armenian media as "rumour"
Azerbaijan, Baku, September 1 / Trend , S.Aghayeva /
Azerbaijani ambassador to Turkey Zakir Hashimov called "rumour" the publication of the Armenian media that as though he was urgently called to Baku after information on the beginning of political consultations between the foreign ministries of Turkey and Armenia for the resumption of diplomatic relations.
"I'm in my workplace, I do not intend to leave it and no-one called me to anywhere, and the information of the Armenian media was just another "rumour", Hashimov told Trend by telephone from Ankara.
During negotiations under the mediation of Switzerland, Turkey and Armenia reached an agreement to begin "internal political consultations" regarding the signing of Protocol on establishing diplomatic relations" and "Protocol on development of bilateral relations, RIA Novosti reported with reference to the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Armenian mass media disseminated information today that as though Azerbaijan called back its ambassador to Ankara in order to protest against Turkey's decision to begin consultations with Armenia on the resumption of diplomatic relations with this country.
"In their information, Armenians refer to the Turkish media, but there is no word about it in the Turkish media," said the ambassador.
Opening of Armenian-Turkish border without the solution of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh issue is contrary to national interests of Azerbaijan, according to official Baku.
"Azerbaijan's position on this issue is based on numerous statements by senior officials of the Turkish Republic. Thus, making a speech on May 14 this year in the Parliament of Azerbaijan, Turkish Prime Minister Rajap Tayyib Erdogan said: "Turkey closed its borders with Armenia after Armenia occupied Azerbaijani lands. The borders can be opened after the occupied lands are returned. We will not give up this position unless our Azerbaijani brothers agree. All these are connected with each other, and can not be divided," Foreign Ministry said in statement distributed on Tuesday.
"At the same time, the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Azerbaijan once again informed that defining relations with other states, in principle, is the sovereign right of any State. However, taking into account that this issue directly affects the national interests of Azerbaijan, opening of Armenian-Turkish border without the solution of Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is contrary to the national interests of Azerbaijan," Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry said.
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.