Azerbaijani opposition leader believes in Ankara's statements on impossibility of opening Turkey-Armenia border without solving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Azerbaijani opposition leader believes in Ankara's statements on impossibility of opening Turkey-Armenia border without solving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Azerbaijan, Baku, October 21 / Trend A. Huseynbala /

Leader of the Azerbaijani opposition movement believes in Turkish officials' statements that the border with Armenia will not be opened till the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is solved.

"The President, Prime-Minister, Foreign Minister and chairman of the Turkish Parliament have repeatedly stated that the Turkish-Armenian border will not be opened without solving of the Karabakh problem," leader of the Movement 'National Unity', Lala Shovket, told Trend on October 21.

Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers Ahmet Davutoglu and Edward Nalbandian signed the protocols Ankara-Yerevan in Zurich on October 10. 

Diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey have been broken due to Armenia's claims of an alleged genocide, and its occupation of Azerbaijani lands. The border between them has been broken since 1993.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan lost all of Nagorno-Karabakh except for Shusha and Khojali in December 1991. In 1992-93, Armenian armed forces occupied Shusha, Khojali and 7 districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Shovket said that politicians are defined by their expressions. "I think that high-ranking Turkish politicians respect themselves and their expressions. They will be responsible for their words," she said.

She said that opening of Turkish border with Armenia is a strategic issue.

"Turkey strives for joining the European Union. Opening of the border was laid down as a condition. Second, Turkey faces accusations in the world due to so-called 'genocide'. About 19 countries recognized it.

The fact that the protocols reflect establishment of the Commission (on investigation of events in 1915) is very important for Turkey ", Shovket said.

The growing influence in the South Caucasus is also a strategic issue for Turkey, she said.

"Russia plays the role of hegemon in this region. Appearance of Turkey in the South Caucasus is a very serious issue. Turkish-Armenian border was closed after occupation of the Kalbajar region of Azerbaijan. Therefore, its opening contradicts national interests of Azerbaijan, 20 percent of which is under occupation," Shovket said.

Leader of the opposition movement said that the opposition must conduct effective policy together with the government to avoid actions contradicting national interests.

So, we must disregard the issue on the flag and prefer our joint effective policy with Turkey. Much can be changed before ratification of the protocols. We must use this opportunity. Games are over. Real policy has been launched. All Azerbaijani politicians must prove themselves", she said.

Shovket said that there can not be a dispute about the flag between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

One should not forget that Baku, in which we live today, was released by Turkish soldiers, "she said.

As to disrespect for the Azerbaijani flag during a football match in Bursa between Turkey and Armenia, Shovket said that she did not believe in the interest of Turkish official circles in the incident.

"Turkey and Azerbaijan are one nation - two states. Naturally, the incident in Bursa affected me. But we must not repeat someone's mistakes. We must show our generosity," Shovket said.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at trend@trend.az

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