Turkish top diplomat calls on Armenia to take concrete steps for regional peace and stability
The Armenian administration needs to take concrete steps in order to ensure peace and stability in the South Caucasus, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
So far, Yerevan is making some statements that Ankara welcomes; however, no solid moves have yet been made, Cavusoglu told Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber in a televised interview on Thursday.
“Azerbaijan is sincere, we are sincere. Now we want to see in practice how sincere Armenia is,” Cavusoglu said.
The relations between Ankara and Yerevan have been frozen since early 1990’s, due to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh region, where the two countries were most recently embroiled in six weeks of clashes in autumn 2020. Ankara sided with Baku in the conflict and provided military assistance to Azerbaijan. The conflict ended with a truce agreement brokered by Russia in November and Armenia handed back territories in Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan as part of the deal.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev held EU-mediated talks in Belgium in May, to pave the way for a future peace treaty between the two neighboring countries over the disputed region. The two leaders agreed on advanced negotiations, regarding the normalization process, which includes border delimitation and the reopening of regional transport links.
Cavusoglu said regional peace and stability will also benefit Armenia.
The Armenian administration, under Pashinyan's premiership, should take positive steps regarding a comprehensive peace agreement and other projects, including the "Zangezur Corridor," Cavusoglu said.
“Following the Karabakh victory, Azerbaijan's offers are on the table,” he said.
The ceasefire agreement foresees the re-opening of key transportation links between Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia. Following the agreement, Aliyev called on Armenia to open the "Zangezur Corridor," which would connect Azerbaijan to Turkey via the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, passing through Armenia's Syunik Province.
The opening of the transportation link would result in the closing of the Armenian-Iranian border along that corridor, eliminating Armenian checkpoints.