Davutoglu Speaks at Oxford on Karabakh, Iran, Israel

ANKARA (World Bulletin)–Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday that Turkey was eager to open its borders with Armenia to facilitate its complete integration with its neighbors.

“Of course we want to open our border because we want full integration with our neighbors. However, it would not be enough to open the Turkey-Armenia border. We also want that Armenia-Azerbaijan border is opened so that regional stability could be restored,” Davutoglu said, speaking at Oxford University.

The Turkish Foreign Minister was at the British university discussing the Caucasus, Iran’s Nuclear program, and his country’s ongoing row with Israel at a conference on “Turkish Foreign Policy in Changing World” organized by the South East European Studies program at Oxford and Turkey’s Sabanci University at Oxford.

“Turkey is working to contribute to global order in these three formations,” he said, adding that Ankara works toward preventing wars and tension in its region of influence. “Turkey wants a secure region around its neighbors in the Middle East, Caucasus, Balkans and Gulf Coast.

Davutoglu also discussed Turkey’s ongoing reluctance to support US-led sanctions against Iran, saying Tehran opposes the sanctions for the sake of maintaining peace in the region. “Why are we so active regarding Iran’s nuclear program? It is not because we defend Iran, but we want a safe region. We don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons and we don’t want any military tension in our region,” he said.

When asked whether his government was pursuing an anti-Semitic stance against Israel, Davutoglu said merely that his country did not support policies against peace in the region. The Turkish Foreign Minister instead echoed accusations from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Israel committed war crimes during its Gaza offensive last winter.

“The incidents in Gaza could not be indulged,” he said.

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