KONYA, Turkey (Hurriyet)–Turkey has conveyed its concerns to the United States about Azerbaijan not being invited to the upcoming nuclear summit in Washington, D.C., diplomatic sources have told the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.
“We have passed on the message that it is not correct to not invite Baku to an international event where Armenia will be represented,” said the sources, adding that Washington to Ankara’s diplomatic note with only information on the criteria for determining conference participation.
Heads of state and government from more than 40 countries will participate in the summit hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday and Tuesday.
“We are following this issue very closely,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters Friday in the Central Anatolian province of Konya. “We have engaged necessary contacts with all the parties concerned.”
Davutoglu did not elaborate further on his remarks.
Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu held talks Friday in Baku where he delivered a letter from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Diplomatic sources said the visit also aimed to compensate for Baku’s non-participation in the nuclear summit.
In Baku, Sinirlioglu also met with Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Memmedyarov, who had spoken by telephone a day previously with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu.
Earlier in the week, Sinirioglu flew to Yerevan where he met with Armenian President Serzh Sarisian and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian and brokered a meeting between Sarkisian and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two are set to meet in Washington on the sidelines of the nuclear summit.
Ambiguity persists over a possible meeting between Erdogan and Obama in Washington. Diplomatic sources said the program is not yet clear, but did not rule out a pull-aside formula, in which Obama could hold brief talks with the Turkish premier on the margins of the summit.
There is also talk of a possible three-way meeting on the sidelines of the Washington summit involving Obama, Erdogan and Sarkisian.
Iran meanwhile plans to host a counter-summit on April 17 to 18 that is expected to draw large participation. Though Iran has extended an invitation to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, diplomatic sources said Davutoglu’s presence at the Tehran event is a “weak possibility” because of the minister’s scheduled visit to Brazil.
The sources indicated, however, that another official from the Turkish Foreign Ministry could represent Turkey at the summit in Iran.