After an uproar from Azerbaijan and Turkish nationalists, Turkey's government has promised not to normalize relations with Armenia in a way that damaged Azerbaijan's negotiating position regarding Karabakh
"Concerned that it might lose its leverage on Armenia as a result of any thaw in Ankara-Yerevan relations, Baku raised objections. Moreover, the prospects that Turkey might "betray" Azerbaijan generated domestic uproar against the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, with opposition parties and civil society organizations organizing activities to demonstrate support with their Azeri brethren (EDM, April 9). As a result, Ankara took steps to reassure Baku that any Turkish-Armenian normalization would not come at the expense of Azerbaijan (EDM, April 10). After fast-tracking the negotiations with Armenia over the past year, the process has now stalled...
"Babacan told reporters on his way to Yerevan, that Turkey was seeking a comprehensive solution to regional problems. He said that efforts to normalize relations must connect the process between Turkey and Armenia with Yerevan's ties with Baku. "We do not say, let's first solve one problem and solve the other later," Babacan added (Today's Zaman, April 17).
"Babacan's remarks served to reiterate Turkey's position that the re-opening of the border with Armenia must be linked to the resolution of Armenian-Azerbaijani territorial issues, which he also repeated during his meetings in Yerevan."
Labels: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey