Turkey hopes to end frozen Caucasus conflicts
Turkey wants to go beyond establishing ties with Armenia and normalize relations across the South Caucasus, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Reuters on Monday.
"This is a process and at the end of it, not only Turkish-Armenian, many borders will be opened," Davutoglu said in an interview as he traveled from Damascus to Nicosia on a tour of the Middle East.
Davutoglu also spoke of opening the border between Armenia and Turkey's Muslim ally Azerbaijan. He did not specify any other borders.
Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with Azerbaijan, which was fighting Armenian-backed separatists in the breakaway mountain region of Nagorno-Karabakh -- another region where conflict must be resolved, Davutoglu said.
"We want to normalize our relations with Armenia, but we also want full normalization of relations in the South Caucasus, including Nagorno-Karabakh," he said.
"This would provide a stable, sustainable peace and stability in our region. The Caucasus has already suffered a lot from ethnic tension and frozen conflicts," he said.
"We know very well from our experiences in the Caucasus and Balkans that frozen conflicts are like bombs in our hands and if we cannot control them, they could blow up in our hands," the minister said.
"We hope that the international community after this step will focus on frozen conflicts in the region, especially Nagorno-Karabakh," Davutoglu added.