Peter Semneby: No Preconditions For Armenia-Turkey Normalization

Nov 16 2009

20:16 / 11/16/2009The Nagorno-Karabakh peace process and Armenia-Turkey
normalization process are two different processes that should not
be linked, Peter Semneby, EU Special Representative for the South
Caucasus Peter Semneby stated in his interview with Trend News on
the results of his visit to Azerbaijan.

The Armenian-Turkish relations must be normalized without any
preconditions, as this process is producing a having positive impact
on the situation in the region, including Azerbaijan, Semneby said. He
pointed out that both the processes are progressing.

Speaking of his impressions of the visit, he said that he had
substantial talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Foreign
Minister Elmar Mamedyarov. Among the issues discussed by the sides
were both Azerbaijan’s foreign policy issues, relations with the
European Union, Nagorno-Karabakh peace process and Armenian-Turkish
relations. The EU Special Representative also expressed hope for
further progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.

In his interview, Semneby also spoke of the prospects of the EU
Eastern Partnership program. According to the diplomat, the next
step is adopting a mandate for association agreements with the South
Caucasus states.

The EU Foreign Ministers will discuss the negotiations mandate early
next year, which will be followed by long-lasting negotiations.

Progress in the negotiations depends on the will and potential of
each of the states, Semneby said. He pointed out that the program
will afford ampler opportunities for discussing regional problems.

As regards a negative impact the lack of a transit agreement with
Turkey may have on projects of gas transit from Azerbaijan to Europe,
Semneby said the issue is on the agenda, and a decision is a joint
priority of Azerbaijan and EU. He pointed out the need for creating
all the necessary conditions for the supply Caspian gas region to
Europe. The best way of doing it is signing a transit agreement with
Turkey, Semneby said. He reported that during his visit to Azerbaijan
he discussed energy issues as well.

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