Turkish Deputy Premier Says Ties With Armenia Depends On Karabakh

ANKARA (Anatolia)–Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister Mesut Yilmaz–who is also the leader of the Motherland Party (ANAP)–said on Tuesday that improvement of Turkish-Armenian relations depended on the solution of the Karabakh problem.

Azerbaijani Parliament Speaker Murtuz Alasgarov visited Yilmaz–who was quoted as saying the most correct expression defining relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan was "One nation–two states." He stressed that the Baku-Ceyhan project was an important project which will link the two countries economically–enabling the Turkic countries to be continuously linked to each other after the project takes effect in 2004.

"We have always supported Azerbaijan’s membership in the Council of Europe–the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)–and its participation to the Black Sea Economic Cooperation," said Yilmaz–adding that Turkey will continue close cooperation along those platforms. Yilmaz also said that his government will help contribute to democratic development in Azerbaijan.

Yilmaz said Turkey supports the efforts carried out by Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliev to find a lasting solution to the Karabakh problem through peaceful methods. He said Turkey makes it known to Armenia that "the way that leads to the improvement of Turkish-Armenian relations is the solution of the Karabakh problem"

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