Erdogan: Armenia Ties Impossible Without Karabakh Deal

LONDON (Combined Sources)–Speaking in London at a summit of world leaders of the Group of 20 Nations, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters on Friday that the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations hinges on a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Associated Press reported.

"As long as the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is not resolved, it is not possible for us to reach a healthy solution concerning Armenia," said Erdogan. "We have taken steps toward such a decision" to improve ties, the Turkish leader said. "We have made ourselves ready. We are also taking steps to prepare the region as a whole. We have talked to our Azeri friends, we are talking to Armenia."

Erdogan’s remarks come a day after Azeri President Ilham Aliyev characterized any move to normalize Turkish-Armenian ties without a resolution to the Karabakh conflict as a direct threat to his country’s national security. Official Baku also threatened to cut off natural gas supplies to Turkey if Ankara opens its borders with Armenia before a Karabakh deal is signed.

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