Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on Tuesday renewed his country's support for Azerbaijan in its territorial dispute with Armenia.
The dispute over the ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh "should be resolved within the framework of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan," Sezer told reporters after meeting his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliev. This is "in line with international norms," Sezer added.
Sezer was speaking at a news conference during a two-day official visit to Baku, where he also lauded economic ties with the booming Caspian Sea oil economy, saying total trade volume would hit $1 billion in 2006.
Both Turkey and Azerbaijan have severed ties with Armenia, closing borders and imposing an economic blockade on Yerevan as a result of the Karabakh dispute. Ankara is under European Union pressure to normalize ties with Armenia but worries that reconciliatory moves sought by the bloc may damage its alliance with Azerbaijan.
Turkish-Armenian ties have also been strained by Yerevan's campaign to have the World War I massacres of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire internationally recognized as genocide.