BAKU (Today.az)—The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was “a main issue” in Monday’s talks between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Barack Obama, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted by the Azeri Today.az news portal as saying in an interview on Tuesday.
“This [Nagorno-Karabakh] was a main issue. Turkey is very interested in explaining to the Obama administration the sensitive points of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” Davutoglu said.
Davutoglu said he spoke with Azeri diplomats on the matter before Erdogan made his trip to Washington. “We communicate with them very often,” he said, referring to Ankara’s ongoing efforts to leverage its negotiations with Armenia to secure a resolution of the Karabakh favoring Azerbaijan. “We want to tell the Azerbaijani people – you can be sure we are with you.”
“I have repeatedly stated and I want to reiterate that the process of normalizing Armenia-Turkey relations has been and will be a catalyst to keeping the Nagorno-Karabakh process in the international arena. Our attempts were directed at this,” Davutoglu said.
“It is important for Turkey that the Obama Administration focuses its attention on this topic,” Erdogan said. “We have seen strong interest in Washington in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.”
Davutoglu said Erdogan told Obama that Turkey cannot normalize relations with Armenia and “achieve lasting peace in the region without resolving the Karabakh issue first.”
Davutoglu also downplayed a recent spat between Turkey and Azerbaijan over the price of natural gas, saying it was not a divisive issue between the two countries, which “speak with one voice on a number of issues.”
“I think the problem between our countries relating to transit prices is solvable. We soon will find a solution,” he said. “Our delegation is discussing this topic with Azerbaijan today.”