Turkey ‘Almost’ a Karabakh Mediator, Says AKP Leader

ANKARA (Tert.am)—Turkey has practically become a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a leading member of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said Tuesday, reported the Turkish Daily Star.

Suat Kiniklioglu, the Deputy Chair of Foreign Affairs for the AKP, said Turkey has used its Western backed normalization talks with Armenia to ascended to the de-facto position of a mediating country in the Karabkh conflict “Without actually being named.”

Armenia and Turkey embarked on a dramatic process to normalize their relations last year, signing agreements in October committing them to the establishment relations and opening borders. Those protocols have stalled in Turkey, with Ankara demanding that Yerevan first resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Azerbaijan’s favor before its parliament considers ratifying the documents.

“Though slow-moving, nevertheless, there is a process of normalizing relations, and it continues,” said Kiniklioglu. “We want that process to reach its purpose, but at the same time we want to see that steps are being taken for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”

“If Armenian-Turkish relations are normalized, the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will be put on the rails and, the South Caucasus will become a corridor of Turkish influence,” he added.

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