Azerbaijan, Baku, August 24 /Trend, U.Sadikhov /
If Turkey does not give its consent to the NATO convoy to pass through its borders to the territory of Armenia, the NATO exercises scheduled for September 11-17 can be cancelled, said the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry's department for Eurasia
Mehmet Fatih Ceylan.
"In theory, Turkey can not to give permission and not to open the border to pass the necessary equipment. But it will be exercises for the emergency situations ministry to train for the fight against the natural disaster that will not take a military character," Turkish diplomat told Trend by telephone.
According to Ceylan, if NATO would carry military-technical equipment through Turkey's territory for exercises in Armenia, then Ankara would not give its consent. Given that the exercises will take place within the emergency situations, Turkey will likely open its border with Armenia only for the transportation of necessary equipment for the NATO exercises," said Ceylan.
"The scenario is that earthquake occurs in Armenia and NATO forces are sent there to provide necessary assistance," Ceylan said, adding that for this kind of exercise, Turkey, as a member of the alliance, must allow a NATO convoy to pass through its borders. However, this step does not mean that Turkey will officially open its border with Armenia, the diplomat said.
The border between the countries was closed in 1993 in connection with claims of Yerevan for recognition of so-called "Armenian genocide" in the world and Armenia's occupation of territories of Azerbaijan.
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.
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.