WASHINGTON : Türkiye and Azerbaijan are “sincere” in their efforts to normalize relations with Armenia, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.
“I can easily say this on behalf of brotherly Azerbaijan. Türkiye and Azerbaijan are sincere about normalization,” Cavusoglu told an event where he met members of the Turkish American community in Washington, D.C.
In his remarks at the Turkish Embassy residence, Cavusoglu recalled that Ankara has formed various mechanisms with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Georgia on the East-West Middle Corridor.
“I hope Armenia will take part in this process, it will take sincere steps towards peace. Recently, unfortunately, we have seen backward steps towards negotiations,” he said.
Cavusoglu said that during his meeting with his US counterpart Antony Blinken, the top American diplomat told him that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was also “sincere” about the normalization process.
“But we want to see this through action, not words,” he added.
Relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan had been tense since 1991, when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven adjacent regions.
In the fall of 2020, during 44 days of heavy fighting, Azerbaijan liberated a significant part of Karabakh and a Russian-brokered peace agreement was subsequently signed, considered a triumph in Baku.
Recent tensions are said to have ignited because of protests by Azerbaijani environmental activists in the Lachin region over what they say is illegal exploitation of natural resources by Armenia in Karabakh.
Armenia has called on Russian peacekeepers deployed to monitor the peace deal to unblock the Lachin corridor, the lifeline road connecting Karabakh to Armenia. — AA