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Turkey Worried About Opposition Pressure On Armenian PM


Uruguay - Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu makes a hand gesture associated with a Turkish ultranationalist group to Armenians protesting against his visit to Montevideo, April 23, 2022.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has signaled concerns about ongoing street protests against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s conciliatory policy on Azerbaijan, saying that the United States and other foreign partners should increase their support for his government.

“We can see that the Armenian authorities are under pressure from radical forces at home and the [Armenian] Diaspora abroad,” Cavusoglu told Azerbaijani journalists on Thursday. “We have told [U.S. Secretary of State] Antony Blinken and our other partners that Armenia needs to be encouraged more on this issue.”

Blinken praised “the courage and the flexibility” demonstrated by Pashinian after holding talks with Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan in Washington on May 2.

Armenia’s leading opposition forces launched daily demonstrations in Yerevan on May 1, accusing Pashinian of planning to cede Karabakh to Azerbaijan.

Pashinian fuelled such allegations after his April 6 meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev held in Brussels. Speaking in the Armenian parliament on April 13, he said the international community wants Armenia to scale back its demands on the status of Nagorno-Karabakh and sign a corresponding peace treaty with Azerbaijan.

Cavusoglu mentioned the treaty, saying that Ankara looks forward negotiations on it planned by Armenia and Azerbaijan. He also noted that Baku supports Turkish-Armenian talks on normalizing bilateral relations which were launched in January.

Armenian opposition leaders have voiced serious concerns over the normalization talks as well. They say that Pashinian is ready to accept Turkish preconditions relating to not only the Karabakh conflict but also the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey.

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