Cavusoglu said normalization talks launched by Ankara and Yerevan early this year cannot be delinked from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“Peace in the South Caucasus can become a reality with a comprehensive peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan which we also support,” he told the Turkish TV channel Haber Global. “Azerbaijan made a proposal to Armenia to which Armenia did not respond positively for a long time.”
Baku wants Yerevan to recognize Azerbaijani sovereignty over Karabakh through such a treaty. Cavusoglu also mentioned another Azerbaijani demand: the opening of a land corridor to Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave passing through Armenia’s Syunik province. The Armenian side has ruled out any exterritorial corridors.
Cavusoglu already put forward these preconditions late last month following a fourth round of negotiations held by Armenian and Turkish envoys in Vienna. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan likewise made clear later in July that Turkey will normalize relations with Armenia only “after problems with Azerbaijan are solved.”
The Armenian government says it wants an unconditional opening of the Turkish-Armenian border and establishment of diplomatic relations between the two neighboring states. Its domestic political opponents claim that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian is ready to make sweeping concessions to both Ankara and Baku.
Cavusoglu said on Tuesday that Pashinian’s administration has a popular mandate to make such concessions because it won last year’s Armenian parliamentary elections. Yerevan should stop using pressure from the Armenian Diaspora and “local extremist forces” as excuses for not accepting the Turkish-Azerbaijani demands, he said.