Azerbaijan: Turkish-Armenian border not to open during NATO exercises
Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug.24 / Trend, T.Jafarov /
The Azerbaijani ruling party does not believe that the Turkish-Armenian border will open temporarily during the upcoming NATO exercises.
"Both the Azerbaijani and Turkish societies recently discussed issues of significant importance for both of our peoples," New Azerbaijan Party Deputy Chairman, Executive Secretary Ali Ahmedov told journalists today. "Opening the border between Turkey and Armenia is impossible until Armenia liberates the occupied territories."
Earlier, media reported that Turkey may temporarily open the border on Sept.11-17 as part of the NATO military exercises planned in Armenia. However, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu denied the rumors.
Diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey were severed in 1993 due to Armenia's claims of an alleged genocide and its occupation of Azerbaijani lands.
Ahmedov said Armenia pursues a purposeful policy to destroy the Azerbaijani-Turkish friendship.
"Falsified news are constantly being leaked about the opening of the border," he added. "I believe that the Azerbaijani society should treat with respect and confidence statements by Turkish ruling circles that the border will only open after the liberation of Azerbaijani lands."
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 seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the United States - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the occupied territories.