Envoy: Turkey can start dialogue with Moscow to resolve Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
By Rashid Shirinov
Turkey, through normalization of relations with Russia, can start a dialogue with Moscow to resolve the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Turkish Ambassador to Baku Ismail Alper Coskun made the remark while talking to journalists on August 12.
He reminded that Turkey is a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, established to mediate between the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and supports the conflict resolution.
Alper Coskun believes that the resolution of the conflict would benefit not only Azerbaijan, but also Russia and Armenia.
“The settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will promote stability in the region,” said the ambassador.
Stressing that Azerbaijan is an important country for Turkey, Coskun said Turkey, as before, supports Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution.
Historically, the relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey have been brotherly, friendly, and collaborative. Turkey has always been the strategic partner of Azerbaijan, the people of both countries being of Turkic race, sharing similar histories, cultures, religions and traditions.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan previously said that the OSCE Minsk Group, which includes Turkey, could have worked more effectively for conflict resolution.
“However, only three countries are involved in this process – Russia, France and the USA,” he said. “Almost 24 years passed, but the problem has not yet been resolved. Of course, the fact of occupation is acknowledged by all parties. But if occupation exists, why has resolution of the problem been delayed for so long? However, there has been some progress recently. President Putin is active on this issue. President Aliyev also informed me about it. I believe that the initial return of five regions will significantly facilitate conflict resolution,” President Erdogan added.
Azerbaijan and Armenia fought a lengthy war that ended with the signing of a fragile ceasefire in 1994. Since the war, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities.
While the OSCE Minsk Group acted as the only mediator in resolution of the conflict, the occupation of the territory of the sovereign State with its internationally recognized boundaries has been left out of due attention of the international community for years.
Armenia ignores four UN Security Council resolutions on immediate withdrawal from the occupied territory of Azerbaijan, thus keeping tension high in the region.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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