Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 20
If the occupation of Azerbaijani lands ceases, Turkey’s doubts over opening the border with Armenia will be removed, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said, Anadolu news agency reported.
Simsek made remarks at the 62nd session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Istanbul.
As for reason of not opening the border with Armenia, Simsek drew attention to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Stressing that the Turkey-Azerbaijan relations are at a very high level, Simsek stressed that Armenia must cease occupation of Azerbaijani lands.
"If the occupation ceases, Turkey’s doubts over support for Armenia and opening of the check point will be removed," he 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 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.