ANKARA (Today’s Zaman)—Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation Europe, tasked with the mediation of the Karabakh conflict, “useless,” reiterating his position that normalization of relations with Armenia was contingent upon the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.
Erdogan, in an interview with the Azeri ANS-TV Monday, said that the Minsk Group has failed to find a solution to the Karabakh conflict.
“Though the Minsk Group has been working for about 20 years, it has failed to achieve any results. I wonder what the Minsk Group can do today, if it has failed during the past 20 years,” said Erdogan
“Unless Azerbaijan and Armenia find a solution to the Karabakh problem, relations between Ankara and Yerevan will not be normalized,” added Erdogan, saying that Armenia and Azerbaijan must take positive steps toward resolving the conflict.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu expressed hope on during an interview with ANS-TV that a breakthrough on the Karabakh conflict will take place during the upcoming Armenia and Azerbaijan presidential summit mediated by Russia in the city of Kazan.
“The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a focal point during each meeting between US, Russian and French officials. We will step up efforts to resolve the conflict. I am certain breakthroughs will be achieved at the presidents’ meeting in Kazan,” said Davutoglu.
“The joint statement on Nagorno-Karabakh adopted within the framework of the G8 Summit led to encouraging prospects. We hope Armenia will realize that protracting the conflict resolution conflicts with its positions and that it will make the right choice in the earliest possible timeframe,” added Davutoglu.
The Minsk Group co-chairmen arrived in Baku Monday. The Azeri foreign ministry announced that a meeting between the Azeri and Armenian foreign ministers will take place ahead of the Kazan summit on June 11.
The Co-chairmen are expected to travel to Stepanakert Tuesday and continue on to Yerevan Wednesday.