Turkish and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministers discuss normalisations of relations with Armenia

The foreign ministers of Turkey and Azerbaijan, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Jeyhun Bayramov, spoke at a joint press conference this weekend during which they referred to relations between their countries and Armenia. 

Cavusoglu, who was in Azerbaijan on a working visit, said that Turkey fully supports the signing of a peace treaty between Armenia and Azerbaijan, noting that his government was also consulting with Azerbaijan when it came to Armenia-Turkey normalisation talks. Last month, the special representatives of the Armenian and Turkish governments met in Vienna for a second meeting, in which they confirmed that the ultimate goal of the negotiations was to achieve full normalisation between the two countries. While the event was described as "positive", a date for the next meeting is yet to be announced. 

The Turkish foreign minister also said that coordination on the opening of communications must continue, and that the “implementation of the Zangezur corridor was important”.

For his part, the Azerbaijani foreign minister said that Azerbaijan supported the normalisation of relations between Armenia and Turkey, stating that this was “a chance for Armenia. Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s position are based on international principles. When the Armenian leadership and society realise that what is good for Azerbaijan and Turkey will not be bad for Armenia, then relations will develop”. 

The spokesperson for the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vahan Hunanyan was asked to comment on these issues during a briefing on Monday. Hunanyan said that the Armenian government had adopted a strategy to open an area of peaceful development, and that it was ready to take steps in that direction. He noted that it had been repeatedly stated at the highest levels of government that the normalisation of relations with Azerbaijan was one of the priorities on the government’s agenda. 

In response to Cavusoglu's statements about the "Zangezur Corridor", he re-iterated the government line that the use of the term was unacceptable for Armenia. He noted however that the opening of regional communications was another one of the government’s key priorities, and highlighted that steps have been taken in that direction, particularly within the framework of the "Armenian Crossroads" project. The project, which aims to fulfill the provisions of the trilateral statements, includes a North-South branch, connecting Armenia with Iran and Russia, and another East-West branch, which will link Azerbaijan and Armenia with Turkey and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan.

source: commonspace.eu and agencies
photo: Bayramov and Çavuşoğlu; Official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey