ANKARA: Turkish foreign minister: Karabakh solution will establishre

Turkish foreign minister: Karabakh solution will establish regional peace

TRT 1 television, Ankara
10 Feb 05

[Announcer] Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, reacting to views that the
Turkish-Armenian border should be opened in the EU accession process,
stated: The people of Azerbaijan should not worry. For peace, the
occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh should come to an end.

Gul met with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, who is
currently visiting Ankara. In a joint news conference, Gul declared
that the termination of the occupation in Nagorno-Karabakh is a
prerequisite for the establishment of peace in the region.

[Gul] We hope that these peace talks will be fruitful, and a peaceful
conclusion will be reached in this regard. We hope that the occupation
will end. Only then all the relations will be normalized. This is
what I have to say on this subject. Turkey’s theses on this issue
are evident. I encountered such questions when I visited Azerbaijan
as well. The people of Azerbaijan should not worry. Turkey’s policy
is very clear.

[Announcer] Mammadyarov, in turn, said that the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum
natural gas line can become operational in 2006 or 2007, adding that
this natural gas can be delivered to Europe via Turkey.

The Cyprus issue was also discussed at the meeting. Gul stated that a
step to be taken by Azerbaijan towards the removal of the isolation
imposed on the [self-declared] Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
will serve as an example for other countries. Mammadyarov said that
his country is exploring the possibilities for cooperation, and it
will encourage Azerbaijani firms to invest in north Cyprus.