Shamkhal Abilov

Journal of Turkish Weekly
Dec 2 2008

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is in official visit to Azerbaijan
by the invitation of his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov. The
meeting was held between two Foreign Ministers. The main topic of
the meeting was the further development of the bilateral relations,
situation in the South Caucasus, and the mediation role of Turkey in
this issue.

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said that, we talked
about the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict at the briefing
right after the meeting. "I have again informed my Turkish counterpart
about Azerbaijan position in this issue. We have also discussed about
the initiative of the Turkish side in the stability and security
platform in region," said Foreign Minister.

Ministers also talked about the energy project between two states
and stressed that the trilateral meeting between president of
Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan will play an important role
for transporting Khazar based energy to Europe through Azerbaijan
and Turkey.

At press conference the Foreign minister of Turkey Ali Babacan said
that, the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations and improving
ties between these countries would have a positive impact on the
Azerbaijan-Armenia talks over Nagorny Karabakh.

It is important here to mention that one of the main reasons of Turkey
in 1992 for closing borders with Armenia was the occupation of the
Azerbaijan territory. Now Turkey sees that this has no any effect
for solving problem with Armenia.

The visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Armenia in September
2008 creates new form for cooperation in the region. The main purpose
of the visit was helping the dialogue between two countries to avoid
the historical enmity and trying to protect peace and security in
the region.

Turkish Foreign Minister said that this is the only way for the
prosperity of the region. In order to solve the problem in the region,
parties of the conflict have to take place in the bargaining table. He
stressed that Turkey effort to improve bilateral relations with
Armenia would help to resolve the long-standing conflict and have
great impact on the negotiation process between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

On December 1, President Ilham Aliyev received Turkish Foreign
Minister Ali Babacan. President stressed the importance of the Turkish
partnership for Azerbaijan and appreciated the mediator role of Turkey
in Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

"We have relations that enable our cooperation in all fields. We have
common past. And nowadays, everything depend on our political will,"
stated Ilham Alyev. President also talked about the development of
the economic, political, and strategic relations between Turkey and
Azerbaijan, and mentioned that the main principle in relations is
our brotherhood and common history.

The Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Hulusi Kılıc also attended to
the meeting. The meeting then continued behind closed door.