ISTANBUL (Today’s Zaman)–The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Turkey met in Istanbul on Sunday evening for an unofficial meeting, during which they reaffirmed their countries’ commitment to a “one nation, two states” doctrine.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Azerbaijani counterpart, Elmar Mammadyarov, met for a one-and-a-half-hour long dinner at a restaurant as the latter stopped in Istanbul before returning to Baku after a visit to Japan.
“We have reviewed all developments in the region with the understanding of ‘one nation, two states,’ as we have always done. We have together discussed the negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the recent period, the other developments in the region and, in addition, the developments in our bilateral relations, which are proceeding extremely well,” Davutoglu was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency as the two responded to questions from reporters following the dinner.
According to him, the meeting had not been “officially planned.”
Armenia and Turkey said in April that they had agreed to a road map for normalizing relations, but Turkey has stalled the negotiations since the announcement, conditioning the opening of its border with Armenia to a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to Azerbaijan’s satisfaction.
Despite that, Armenia’s Foreign Minister, Eduard Nalbandian Monday said Armenia remains hopeful that it will normalize relations with Turkey soon and expects Ankara to take new steps toward the normalization of their bilateral ties.
Asked by a reporter what those steps entail, Davutoglu said “I have always said, ‘Steps are steps that should be taken mutually.”
Turkey’s eventual goal is the maintenance of “permanent stability, peace and welfare in the region,” he said. “This doesn’t take place via unilateral steps. All parties should take steps with goodwill.”
“Turkey has shown in the past that it will take steps with goodwill toward the entire region,” Davutoglu added. But permanent peace can be maintained in case of mutually taking these steps. Indeed, we have dealt with these issues.”
Mammadyarov, who described his meeting with Davutoglu as “very important and good,” was asked about the current phase of negotiations between Baku and Yerevan. He said negotiations are still under way.