ANKARA (Today’s Zaman)—Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday evening he is planning to visit Baku in the near future for talks on Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Erdogan disclosed his plans after concluding debates on a constitutional reform package during an informal press briefing with reporters on Tuesday night outside Parliament’s General Assembly Hall.
The prime minister didn’t elaborate on a date for his visit, yet it is expected to be after debates and voting over the reform package are finalized, which means within days. ErdoGan is already scheduled to pay an official visit to Athens on May 14-15, and sources said a Baku visit is likely to take place just after the Greece visit, probably on May 17. However, the same sources highlighted that no exact date has been decided.
Turkey’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, recently voiced his country’s insistence on parallel progress for the normalization of relations with Armenia and the Karabakh peace process.
Delivering a keynote lecture on Saturday at the University of Oxford’s St. Antony’s College, Davutoglu discussed the recent course of affairs regarding the stalled normalization process between Armenia and Turkey.
“For sure, we want to open our border because we want full integration with our neighbors. However, opening the Turkey-Armenia border will not be sufficient; we want to open the Armenia-Azerbaijan border as well so that regional stability can be maintained,” Davutoglu said.
Last October, Davutoglu and his Armenian counterpart, Edward Nalbandian, signed two protocols for restoring diplomatic ties between their countries and re-opening the two countries’ joint border. The agreements, however, have stalled and remain ungratified. Armenia has temporarily frozen the process citing Turkey’s growing unwillingness to ratify the protocols without preconditions.