The foreign ministers of Turkey and Azerbaijan on Tuesday reiterated their countries’ readiness to normalize ties with Armenia and emphasized the imperative of opening the so-called “Zangezur Corridor”—Baku’s scheme to have a land corridor through Armenia to connect mainland Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan and Turkey.
Azerbaijan’s foreign minister Jeyhun Bayramov touted the importance of the “Zangezur Corridor,” despite vocal opposition to the scheme by Yerevan. At the same time Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that Ankara continuously coordinates all its efforts with Baku.
Cavusoglu and Bayramov were in the Uzbekistan capital of Tashkent on Tuesday where they met with that country’s foreign minister Vladimir Norov and signed a cooperation agreement between the three Turkic states.
Cavusoglu hailed Tuesday’s agreement as benefitting the “Turkic world and strengthen relations between Turkic-speaking countries.”
According to Azerbaijani press reports one of the provisions—point 11—of the agreement emphasizes the importance of the opening of the “Zangezur Corridor” as a means to expand international transport links.
“Azerbaijan has offered to normalize relations with Armenia based on the principles of international law,” Bayramov said, adding that the process is the key to achieving security, stability and prosperity in the South Caucasus.
He did not discuss the proposal presented by Armenia, which wants to determine the status of Karabakh and provide security guarantees and rights to the Armenians of Artsakh. Instead Bayramov emphasized the importance of opening regional transport links.
In his remarks, Cavusoglu claimed that with “the victory” in the 44-day war, a new geopolitical balance has emerged in the South Caucasus. At the same time, he emphasized that the countries that are in favor of “stability and cooperation” will benefit from this situation.
“We urge all parties to utilize this opportunity. We support negotiations on communication, border demarcation and peace treaty between Azerbaijan and Armenia. We are also taking steps to normalize relations, we are moving forward with meetings by our special representatives and in consultation with Azerbaijan,” Cavusoglu emphasized.
Turkey’s foreign minister also said that his country’s relations with Azerbaijan have risen to a new level following the signing of the so-called Shushi Decleration—an alliance agreement between Ankara and Baku, which also stipulates military and defense ties.