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Turkey To ‘Coordinate’ Armenia Policy With Azerbaijan


AZERBAIJAN -- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (left) meets with his Azeri counterpart Ceyhun Bayramov in Baku, November 1, 2020

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu indicated on Monday that Turkey will continue to link the normalization of its relations with Armenia to a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict acceptable to Azerbaijan.

Cavusoglu said that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian has sent “positive messages” to Ankara of late but has yet to respond to offers made by Baku.

“As you know, Azerbaijan has offered to sign a comprehensive peace accord with Armenia,” he told a joint news conference in Istanbul with his Azerbaijani counterpart Jeyhun Bayramov. “There has yet to be a positive response from Armenia.”

“As always, we will coordinate [Armenia-related] steps that we could take with dear Azerbaijan. We decide together, we take steps together,” Cavusoglu added, according to the Anatolia news agency.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on September 19 that Pashinian has offered to meet with him for talks on improving Turkish-Armenian relations. Erdogan appeared to make such a meeting conditional on Armenia agreeing to open a transport corridor that would connect Azerbaijan to its Nakhichevan exclave.

Baku also wants Yerevan to recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over Nagorno-Karabakh through the “peace treaty” mentioned by Cavusoglu.

A senior Armenian official said on Friday that Pashinian’s government still hopes to start a Turkish-Armenian “dialogue without preconditions.” He did not deny that Pashinian proposed a meeting with Erdogan.

Armenian opposition leaders have denounced what they see as Pashinian’s secret overtures to Erdogan. They say that Ankara continues to set unacceptable preconditions for establishing diplomatic relations with Yerevan and opening the Turkish-Armenian border.

A senior member of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) insisted last week that negotiating with the Turks in these circumstances would be tantamount to accepting their preconditions.

Turkey provided decisive military assistance to Azerbaijan during the six-week war in Karabakh stopped by a Russian-brokered ceasefire last November.

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