Impossible to relate sensitively to Armenian- Turkish talks: Turkish Foreign Minister
It is impossible to relate sensitively to the negotiations of Armenia and Turkey, the Foreign Minister of Turkey Ali Babajan said to press conference in Istanbul, commenting on the question of influence of Armenian-Turkish negotiations on the relations with Azerbaijan, TRT 2 television channel reported.
Armenian-Turkish ties have been severed since 1993 due to Armenia's claims of an alleged genocide, and the country's occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands. Turkish President Abdullah Gul visited Yerevan on Sept. 6, 2008 upon the invitation of his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisyan to watch an Armenia-Turkey football match. Efforts have been made to normalize ties between the two countries ever since.
Babajan said that "the peoples of Azerbaijan and Turkey are inseparable from each other, and the relations of the two countries will develop at previous level".
Last week the Prime Minister of Turkey Rajab Tayyib Erdogan said that unless the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is settled, opening Armenian-Turkish borders can not be topic of discussions.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.