Opening borders with Armenia to lead to final lost of Nagorno-Karabakh: Turkish opposition leader
Opening the Turkish-Armenian borders will lead to lost of the Azerbaijani territories and strengthen Armenia's occupation policy, opposition Republican Party Leader Deniz Baykal said, the Turkish CNN Turk TV channel reported.
"Turkey must not be a toy in Armenia's political game," Baykal said. "And opening borders will strengthen Armenia's position and Karabakh will be fully lost."
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
We should not allow Turkey to abandon the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution to normalize relations with Armenia, Baykal said.
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.
Baykal added that closing borders with Armenia was not a result of Ankara's enmity policy, but a response to occupation of the Azerbaijani lands.
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