Erdogan Says Armenia Talks at Davos May Produce Roadmap

DAVOS, Switzerland (Combined Sources)–Talks between Turkey and Armenia in Davos could yield a roadmap for relations between the two countries if Yerevan shows a ‘sincere’ attitude, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters Thursday at the World Economic Forum.

"If Armenia displays a sincere behavior in the low-level work, after our talks last night, today’s talks may somehow set out a roadmap," Erdogan said in Davos in commen’s to reporters broadcast on Turkish television channels.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan held talks at the World Economic Forum with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian and Erdogan was set to hold talks with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian Thursday evening.

Babacan told CNN-Turk Wednesday that 2009 may be a turning-point year for Armenian-Turkish relations. "It would not surprise me if a solution was found this year. 2009 can be a milestone in Turkish-Armenian relations as long as both parties maintain their political will till the end," he said. “Both sides should retain their political will in this issue till the end. Currently, we have this political will. We see it in Armenia too, but the most important is to continue it till the end.”

Erdogan too had expressed hope about the outcome of talks in Davos. "I am hopeful but I do not know how hopeful Armenian side is," he said, talking to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News before his meeting with Sarkisian Thursday.

The Turkish Prime Minister said he would also meet with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev, who was also in Davos attending the World Economic Forum, ahead of his meeting with Sarkisian. Erdogan and Aliyev dined together in Davos on Wednesday.

"It is very normal that I meet Azerbaijan’s President ahead of the meeting with President Sarkisian,” he said. “My talks with Aliyev will determine the framework of my talks with Sarkisian.”

"Armenia’should show the necessary understanding," Erdogan said. "On the subject of Nagorno-Karabakh, we can never leave Azerbaijan on its own. Our subject is linked to Azerbaijan.”

Details of their meetings at Davos have yet to be reported by either country’s foreign ministry.

But in a press conference last week Nalbandian said Yerevan continues to stand for an unconditional normalization of bilateral ties. “Our position is unchanged and we expect the same approach from Turkey,” he said. “In that case, we are really very close to solving the issue.”

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