Azerbaijan, Baku, July 8 / Trend U. Sadikhova /
The Turkish government does not intend to carry out some technical work, or talks to open borders with Armenia till Azerbaijani lands are under Armenian occupation, " Kars province governor Ahmet Kara said.
Kars is the city and an administrative unit in the north-eastern Turkey, bordering with Armenia.
"Until Azerbaijan gives consent, and its land is liberated, any opening of the border is out of the question," Kara told Trend, commenting on the recent publication in the Turkish media.
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 and how long the connections will be restored, Turkish news agency Cihan reported.
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 if all the conditions for the opening of the eastern border are agreed, it will be ready in a month.
Kars province governor Ahmet Kara denied Turkish media's information that it is necessary to persuade Azerbaijan to implement this project.
"Actually, I said that the border will not be opened till Azerbaijan gives its consent. No technical work will be carried out. The position of the Turkish leadership remained unchanged: Turkey will not normalize relations with Armenia without de-occupation of Azerbaijani lands," Kara said.
Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers Ahmet Davutoglu and Edward Nalbandian signed the Ankara-Yerevan protocols in Zurich Oct. 10 to normalize bilateral relations broken in 1993. The protocols will enter into force after the parliaments of both countries ratify them.
The Turkish government stated that relations between Ankara and Yerevan will be restored only after Armenia liberates the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
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.
"No problems with neighbors is the main priority of Turkish politics. But it must not be contrary to our national interests", Kara said.
The governor said that the only contacts conducted with the Armenian side on the eastern border are repair of stone fences and barges, dividing the river Arpachai on the Turkish and Armenian sides.
"Periodically, we meet with Armenian engineers to repair stone fences on the border and the old barge. Meetings are held on technical issues. The Ministry's request concerned this," Kara said.