Turkey Signals Second Round of Karabakh Talks with Armenia, Azerbaijan

BAKU (Armenpress)–Turkey’s Ambassador to Azerbaijan on Tuesday signaled the possibility of a second round of trilateral talks between the foreign ministers of Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan, a move aimed at linking Turkish-Armenian relations to the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Following Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s visit to Armenia on September 6, Turkey hosted trilateral talks with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on September 26.

Turkey continues to maintain that normal relations with Armenia require a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict favorable to Azerbaijan.

Khulusi Kelej said that the place and time of the meeting are being clarified through diplomatic contacts.

The announcement comes after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced in Yerevan early last week that Russia is keen on hosting a similar style meeting with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan

Kelej said Turkey is interested in cooperation, stability and peace in the region.

Official Ankara announced plans to create a Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform that would include the three South Caucasus countries plus two regional heavyweights, Turkey and Russia, following the Russian Georgian conflict. The regional framework, if realized, will allow Turkey to extend its influence into the Caucasus at a level unseen since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

“Recently Turkey has become a non-permanent member of UN Security Council. In its new post Turkey will seek to exert all its efforts for the resolution of “frozen conflicts,” including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Ambassador Kelej said. “Turkey will continue its efforts in that direction.”

A source from the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry reported that the meeting may take place on the sidelines of the OSCE Foreign Ministers Council set for December 4-5 in the Finnish capital of Helsinki.

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