Sunday, June 03, 2007

Kocharian-Aliyev meeting if successful will force Turkey to open its border with Armenia


Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders are due to meet in St. Petersburg, Russia on June 9 to talk on the basic principles of the settlement on Nagorno Karabakh, which if successful will force Turkey to open its border with Armenia, said Omer Luthem, retired ambassador and chairman of the institute for Armenian research at ASAM.

However, settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is not enough for it, according to him.

The settlement may help normalization but this would not be sufficient in itself. Turkey additionally insists on Armenia giving up claims of the Armenian Genocide, the Turkish diplomat said.

If they agree on the settlement, then Turkey has to give an “award” by opening its border which was closed in 1993, Omer Luthem said. A peaceful solution to Nagorno Karabakh is one of the preconditions set by Ankara for establishing diplomatic relations with Yerevan, he added.

If the two leaders can agree on the status of Nagorno Karabakh, the withdrawal of Armenian forces from seven nearby regions around Nagorno Karabakh is expected to be resolved easily, Omer Luthem said.

However diplomatic sources based in Ankara do not expect a swift solution pointing to other problems such as the timing of withdrawal of Armenian forces from seven regions, the corridor problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the timing of the referendum and the return of refugees and so on, the Turkish Daily News says.

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Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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