BAKU: Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Resolution And Turkey-Armenia Rappro


Nov 19 2009

There is no formal relation between resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict and Turkey-Armenia rapprochement, Committee of Ministers of
the Council of Europe Chairman and Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline
Calmy-Rey told Trend News today. Calmy-Rey was commenting on the
non-ratification of the Turkish-Armenian protocols.

The Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers Ahmet Davutoglu and Edward
Nalbandian signed the Ankara-Yerevan protocols in Zurich Oct. 10.

Turkey and Armenia in talks mediated by Switzerland reached an
agreement to launch "domestic political consultations" Aug. 31 to
sign the "Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and
Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations," the Turkish
Foreign Ministry reported.

Diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey were broken due
to Armenian claims of an alleged genocide and its occupation of
Azerbaijani lands. Their border closed in 1993.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988
when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian
armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992,
including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The
co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group – Russia, France, and the U.S. –
are currently holding the peace negotiations.

Following the signing of the protocols Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Erdogan said Turkey will not take steps contradicting Azerbaijan’s

Calmy-Rey also said the two countries should ratify the Turkish and
Armenian protocols in the rapprochement process.

"We hope both Turkey and Armenia will ratify the protocols soon," the
minister said, noting that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution
and Turkey-Armenia rapprochement have no formal relation.

According to official, the processes are connected, yet independent
at the same time.

"The OSCE Minsk Group is engaged in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The
other process deals with the normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations
with Swiss mediation," she said.

The minister expressed hope in the prompt ratification of the

"We hope the ratification process will be held soon. The processes
are not connected. Of course, progress on one issue will positively
impact the second affair," the minister added.

The chairmanship of Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers was
handed over from Slovenia to Switzerland Nov.18. After the ceremony,
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, Slovenian
Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar and new Council of Europe Committee of
Ministers Chairman Micheline Calmy-Rey held a joint press conference.