BAKU: Ankara assures Azeris border opening ruled out

AssA-Irada, Azerbaijan
October 12, 2009 Monday


The embassy of Turkey in Baku on Monday repeated Ankaras assurances
that reopening of the countrys border with Armenia is not negotiable
prior to a pullout of the Armenian armed forces from the occupied
territories of Azerbaijan. The embassy said in a statement that it is
disappointed with the reports about opening of the Turkish-Armenian
border circulated by the Azerbaijani media following Saturdays signing
of two protocols on mending ties between Ankara and Yerevan.

Ankara thereby appealed to the Azerbaijani public, saying that as
repeatedly noted by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the
Turkish-Armenian border, which closed after the occupation of Garabagh
[an Azeri region under Armenian occupation], will not reopen before
the occupation of Azerbaijani territories ends, and this cannot be
even a subject of discussions. The statement also said that, as stated
by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, no relations can be more
important than Turkey-Azerbaijan cooperation. It said opening of the
border with Armenia is a long process which requires liberation of
Azerbaijans occupied land. The embassy added that we expect the
fraternal Azerbaijani people to confide in Turkey and not to trust
false and deliberate reports. Turkey and Armenia face decades of
enmity. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 due to Armenian
occupation of Azerbaijani territory and Yerevans claims on the World
War I-era genocide in the Ottoman Empire. However, there have lately
been signs of normalization in Ankara-Yerevan ties. The two
governments signed a historic agreement to establish diplomatic
relations and reopen their borders on Saturday. However, the signed
protocols require the approval of both countries parliaments to be
considered valid. Ankara has repeatedly pledged that the border will
not open until the Garabagh conflict has been fairly resolved.