BAKU (Armenpress/RFE/RL)–Azeri President Ilham Aliyev warned that a reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border–not ruled out by the current government in Ankara–would further complicate the Karabagh peace process because "Azerbaijan would lose in that case an important lever."It is no secret that the European Union and other influential countries are putting pressure on Turkey to open its border with Armenia," he said. "But I have said many times that if that happens then the Karabagh conflict will never be resolved."
Insisting that pressure on Turkey stop if interested parties genuinely seek a peaceful resolution to the Karabagh conflict–Aliyev confidently said that Turkey would not give in to this pressure. "The Turkish-Azeri brotherhood is above everything else both for us and for the people of Turkey."
Aliyev also criticized the OSCE Minsk Group for its inability to play a positive role in finding a resolution to the Karabagh conflict.
Reacting to the remarks–the Armenian Foreign Ministry said the lifting of the Turkish blockade would–on the contrary–facilitate a Karabagh settlement. "Turkey could really be an important factor in political and economic developmen’s in our region if it abandons its one-sided approaches favoring Azerbaijan," a ministry statement said.