BAKU: Turkey to open border with Armenia – Azeri pro-government MP

Turkey to open border with Armenia – Azeri pro-government MP

Azadliq, Baku
15 Apr 04

Text of unattributed report by Azerbaijani newspaper Azadliq on 15
April headlined “Is Anar Mammadxanli cleverer than Ilham Aliyev?” and
subheaded “The latter says that the borders will not open, the former
says they will be…”

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and his entourage differ about the
opening of the Turkish-Armenian border. Ilham Aliyev does not see any
grounds for concern, pointing out that during his visit to Ankara as
the prime minister last autumn, he heard statements from the Turkish
leadership that the border will not open. He believes that those
statement were sufficient for him.

Therefore, there is no need for anxiety over this issue because he
believes that the border will not open. He confirmed this stance in
his comment on a protest action by a group of Azerbaijani journalists
in Turkey against the possible opening of the border.

MP Anar Mammadxanli, who is well-known for his personal closeness to
Ilham Aliyev and is trying to show off as a staunch member of his
“team of reformists”, thinks the opposite and aired his concern about
the situation in his interview.

He backed the journalists’ protest action against the possible opening
of the border, but said that he expects the Turkish-Armenian border to
open. Unlike Ilham Aliyev, Mammadxanli believes that Turkey will open
the border as soon as its membership of the European Union becomes
topical. Despite his feeling of regret, the MP advises to take a
realistic approach to the issue.

Mammadxanli went even further and blamed “some pseudo-patriots for the
erroneous analysis of the issue”.

We wonder whether Ilham Aliyev, who does not believe that the
Turkish-Armenian border will open, is also one of the
“pseudo-patriots” mentioned by Mammadxanli. And who knows more – Anar
Mammadxanli or Ilham Aliyev?