QABALA, Azerbaijan—Turkey is ready to do everything possible to “end the occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday during a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States in Qabala, Anadolu news agency reported.
According to Davutoglu, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is the main obstacle to the stabilization of the South Caucasus region.
“Despite the fact that negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have been going on for more than 20 years, no results have yet been achieved. This is a very sad fact,” the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 after Armenians in Azerbaijan and their historic homeland of Karabakh were subjected to multiple massacres at the hands of Azeri citizens and armed forces, which spurred a national effort for independence. Armenian armed forces have been defending the independent Nagorno Karabakh Republic since 1992.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – Russia, France and the U.S – are currently holding peace negotiations.
The meeting of the foreign ministers is being held on the eve of the Summit of Heads of Turkic-Speaking States due to take place on Friday in Qabala.
Ramil Hasanov, the Azerbaijani secretary-general of the parliamentary assembly of the Turkic-speaking countries, said the summit was expected to discuss the potential formation of a free-trade zone among the member states, reports RFE/RL.
It is also expected that the council presidency will be transferred from Kyrgyzstan to the Azerbaijani side.
The Council was established in 2009 by the member states of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey with a view to further the goals of Pan-Turanism.