FM: Turkey wants to normalize relations with Armenia

Türkiye Materials 25 July 2008 17:15 (UTC +04:00)

Turkey's foreign minister expressed on Thursday Turkey's willingness to normalize relations with Armenia, reported World Buleltin.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said that Turkey also wanted to create an atmosphere of dialogue with Armenia.

"Turkish president, prime minister and foreign minister sent letters to their Armenian counterparts after recent elections in Armenia, and these letters aimed to open a new door of dialogue with the new (Armenian) administration," Babacan told a press conference in New York.

Babacan is actually in New York City to lobby for Turkey's candidacy for a non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.

Turkey's foreign minister said that Turkey's aim was to have zero problems with its neighbors.

"Naturally, we are also expecting some concrete steps from the other party," Babacan said.

Babacan expressed his belief that Turkey's problems could be solved through dialogue, and underlined importance of setting up a joint committee of historians to deal with the incidents of 1915.

On appointment of Alexander Downer, Australia's former foreign minister as the new UN special representative for Cyprus, Babacan said that he saw the appointment as an important signal that the organization would more closely and seriously deal with the Cyprus problem.

"The UN should intervene in settlement of Cyprus problem," he also said.

Babacan expressed Turkey's wish that comprehensive talks would be launched in Cyprus soon.

Also, Babacan expressed pleasure with the dialogue and cooperation of Turkey and the United States.

Babacan said Turkey would work hard till the last minute to secure a non-permanent seat at the United Nations (UN) Security Council.

Speaking at a press conference, Babacan said that there was a lot of hope for Turkey to attain a non-permanent seat at the Security Council.

"However, it is important to work hard till the last minute to secure a non-permanent seat," Babacan said.

"It is likely that the election for the non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council would take place in October 2008. We would attend the UN General Assembly meetings in September with Turkish President Abdullah Gul. Both President Gul and I would have many bilateral talks. We would continue lobbying for Turkey's non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council," Babacan said.

Turkey would need the votes of 128 countries out of a total of 192 countries in order to be elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.