BAKU: Oskanian: Premature to Expect Re-opening of Turk-Armen Borders

Baku Today, Azerbaijan
June 29 2004

Oskanian: It is Premature to Expect Immediate Re-opening of
Turkish-Armenian Borders

Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers discussed the ways to
normalize relations between the two countries in a meeting held on
the sidelines of the NATO summit in Istanbul on Monday, Agence France
Press reported.

Vardan Oskanian of Armenia said he was `very satisfied’ with the
meeting he held with Abdullah Gul of Turkey where the major item on
the agenda was opening the Turkish-Armenian borders.

However, Oskanian said it would be premature to expect an immediate
re-opening of the borders.

Turkey closed off its gates to Armenian in 1993 in response to the
latter’s occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories. As a precondition
for opening of the borders and establishing of diplomatic
relationship with Armenia, Ankara demands that Yerevan release the
occupied Azeri territories, stop its efforts to gain an international
recognition of a so-called genocide of Armenians by Turks in early
20th century and give up territorial claims against Turkey.

According to ANS, a private TV channel in Baku, Turkish premier Recep
Tayyip Erdogan Erdogan reiterated the preconditions on Monday.