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Turkey's raising Karabakh issue at talks with Russia commendable, says expert

24 November 2017 14:17 (UTC+04:00)
Turkey's raising Karabakh issue at talks with Russia commendable, says expert

By Rashid Shirinov

It is highly commendable that President of Turkey defends Azerbaijan’s position and at the talks with the Russian president raises the topic of Nagorno-Karabakh and the liberation of the occupied Azerbaijani lands, a well-known Azerbaijani political scientist Fikret Sadikhov told

He was commenting on the recent statement of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The head of state said that only Russia can solve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem and that he would raise this issue again at the meeting with the Russian president in Sochi. Erdogan also noted that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a national issue for Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Sadikhov notes that such a position of Turkey unequivocally meets Azerbaijan’s interests and is an indicator of allied and fraternal relations between the two countries.

“In the issue of settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the positions of Ankara and Baku coincide completely, as both sides consider it possible to resolve the conflict solely on the basis of restoring the territorial integrity and inviolability of the Azerbaijani borders,” the political scientist said.

Turkey contributes to efforts aimed at the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty through peaceful means. Ankara has repeatedly stated that the OSCE Minsk Group needs to intensify the search for solutions to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and offered its assistance in this matter.

Sadikhov noted in the interview that much in the issue of the Karabakh settlement depends on the Russian side, yet not absolutely everything.

“Russia, if it wishes, can exert pressure on Armenia as on its closest ally, and, for sure, there can be certain results in this case. However, I believe that the role and significance of other OSCE Minsk Group co-chairing countries, the United States and France, should not be underestimated in this issue, because when addressing some specific issues, unified decisions that would also meet the interests of these states will be taken into account,” Sadikhov noted.

He added that despite the complexity of the relations between Russia and the West, they have a complete coincidence of views on the Karabakh issue.

“And this to a certain extent meets our interests as well as the fact that in the current situation, Turkey and Russia are in a rapprochement format. Thus, it is advantageous for us that Russia is getting closer to Turkey,” the expert noted.

In turn, Turkey raises the issue of the need to address this problem within the norms of international law, Sadikhov said.

“Given that the United States and France are also active participants in the negotiation process, it is clear that this is exactly the case when, given the political will, desire and activity from Russia, it will be possible to move the issue from the deadlock,” he concluded.

Although active hostilities on the frontline ended in early 1990s, the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is still actual. The Armenian armed forces illegally keep under occupation 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands for more than two decades, thus making over a million of Azerbaijanis live a life of internally displaced persons far from their homes.

The efforts of Russia, the U.S. and France to resolve the conflict within the OSCE Minsk Group have produced no tangible results so far due to Armenia’s reluctance to join serious constructive negotiations on the conflict settlement with Azerbaijan.


Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

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