BRUSSELS (Hurriyet)—Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu reiterated Turkey’s long-standing claim and precondition that normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations was linked with the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Ruling out criticism of Ankara for linking the issues of normalization of relations between Ankara and Yerevan to the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Baku and Yerevan, Davutoglu said: “Normalization at the bilateral level is linked with an improvement in the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. The Turkish-Armenian border has been closed for years but we are still trying to resolve this issue. If the same kind of good intention can be shown on the other issue, then it may reach a further level as well.”
When reminded of Armenian officials’ recent statements threatening to annul the protocols signed by Ankara and Yerevan in October for the normalization of relations if Ankara fails to ratify them before April, Davutoglu said the issue should be dealt with via a “visionary” approach instead of by enacting arbitrary deadlines.
Dismissing reports that he plans to pay a visit to Israel, Davutoglu reiterated his harsh criticism of Israeli inaction on the ongoing humanitarian tragedy in Gaza.
Recalling a recent call by former US President Jimmy Carter for world powers to coerce Israel to end its blockade of Gaza, Davutoglu asked, “Should we now call Carter anti-Semitic for what he said?”
Israel’s Gaza offensive last winter “killed the peace perspective,” he said, adding, “If the peace perspective is rebuilt, then we will not avoid having contact.”