Today's Zaman, Turkey
Aug 31 2009

Aliyev meets top Turkish diplomats in Baku

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev and visiting top Turkish diplomats
had talks in Baku over the weekend on recent developments in the
Caucasus, the Anatolia news agency reported. The meeting among Aliyev,
Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador Feridun SinirlioÄ?lu
and Ambassador Ã`nal Ã?eviköz, the deputy
undersecretary for the Caucasus and Central Asia, was held on Saturday
following a Friday telephone conversation between Aliyev and Turkish
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄ?an.

During Friday's conversation ErdoÄ?an briefed Aliyev on
normalization efforts between Turkey and Armenia, while Aliyev
informed ErdoÄ?an about developments regarding the resolution of
the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Prime
Minister ErdoÄ?an's office said in a written statement.

Ahead of their departure from Baku later on Saturday,
SinirlioÄ?lu told reporters that they explained Turkey's views
to Aliyev concerning both the normalization efforts between Turkey and
Armenia and the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between
Armenia and Azerbaijan, without elaborating further.

For more than one-and-a-half years, Turkey and Armenia have been
holding closed-door talks, mediated by Switzerland, to restore their
diplomatic relations severed by Turkey in 1993 in a show of solidarity
with Azerbaijan after Armenia occupied a chunk of Azerbaijani
territory in a war over Nagorno-Karabakh. But the process stalled
after Ankara said progress in efforts at normalization was linked with
progress in Armenia's Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. Armenia rejects any
link between the two issues.

31 August 2009, Monday