Armenia must liberate Azerbaijani territories to normalize relations with Ankara
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 20
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Armenia must withdraw from the occupied Azerbaijani territories to normalize relations with Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was quoted Feb. 20 by Sabah newspaper as saying.
He said that first, it is necessary to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the establishment of peace in the South Caucasus.
"So far, Armenia has not taken any actions to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Cavusoglu said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.
On Oct. 10, 2009 the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Armenia Ahmet Davutoglu and Edward Nalbandian signed protocols on normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia.
However, the protocols have not been ratified by the countries' parliaments.
The diplomatic relations between the two countries were severed in 1993. The break in relations, as well as, the closing of borders between Turkey and Armenia in 1993 was due to Yerevan's claims over recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide in the world and Armenia's occupation of Azerbaijani lands.
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