Armenia-Turkey Normalization to Weaken Azerbaijan, Warns Azeri Diaspora Chief

Nazim_Ibrahimov_111206-bigBAKU (Trend)—Opening the Turkey-Armenia border will weaken Azerbaijan’s position on the international stage and diminish Turkey’s role in regional and world politics, according to the Chairman of Azerbaijan’s Diaspora Activities Committee.

“Official Ankara must understand that weakening Azerbaijan means weakening Turkey,” Nazim Ibrahimov said in remarks in Frankfurt over the weekend to a joint session of the European Azerbaijani Congress and the Azerbaijani-Turkish Diaspora Organization Coordinating Council.

“Opening the border with Armenia can seriously damage Azerbaijan’s position on the international arena, as well as Turkey’s role in regional and world politics,” he stressed.

High level officials from Azerbaijan and Turkey attended the two-day conference, including the Deputy Speaker of Azerbaijan’s Parliament and several Turkish Parliamentarians.

Among the many agenda items at the conference, was a discussion on energy politics in the region and, in particular a number of gas and oil pipelines linking Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Ibrahimov sought to link Turkey’s recent rise on the international stage to Azerbaijan’s approval agreement to run a pipeline from Baku to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

“Despite pressure, frustration and even resentment by some countries not participating in the project, Azerbaijan has pushed forward the BTC [Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline]. This was a major, historical contribution to strengthening and developing Turkey,” he asserted.

Ibrahimov said that Azerbaijan’s aim with the pipeline project was to provide Turkey with “a real force in the region and significance in the world.”

“Azerbaijan always backs Turkey in terms of the so-called Armenian genocide,” he said, adding that the Azerbaijani Diaspora “works actively” to counter Armenian demands whenever the issue is on the world agenda. “Opening borders with Armenia can only jeopardize the interests of these two countries and threaten regional security and the Turkic world as a whole.”

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