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ANKARA: Russian Deputy Minister To Visit Ankara For Caucasus Talks

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  • ANKARA: Russian Deputy Minister To Visit Ankara For Caucasus Talks


    Today's Zaman
    Nov 19 2008

    A senior Russian official is scheduled to visit Ankara later this
    week for talks on Turkey's proposal for the establishment of a
    regional platform for discussion and the resolution of conflicts in
    the troubled Caucasus, which was suggested after a brief war between
    Russia and Georgia.

    Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Titov will arrive
    in the Turkish capital on Friday for a one-day visit and will have
    talks with Ambassador Unal Ceviköz, the deputy undersecretary of the
    Foreign Ministry. Titov and Ceviköz, who is responsible for affairs
    relating to the Caucasus and Central Asia, will assess progress made
    so far concerning the proposed Caucasus Stability and Cooperation
    Platform. Ankara hopes the platform with bring Turkey, Armenia,
    Russia, Azerbaijan and Georgia together around the same table.

    Titov's visit to Ankara comes only a few days after Foreign Minister
    Ali Babacan's remarks on the positive approach of the Georgian side
    to the platform. Last week, Babacan told reporters that his Georgian
    counterpart, Ekaterine Tkeshelashvili, told him during a recent visit
    to Ä°stanbul that Georgia would be part of the proposed Caucasus
    platform, despite earlier Georgian statements that the country would
    not sit at the same table with Russia unless it fully withdrew its
    troops from Georgia.

    Ankara's implementation of a proactive Caucasus policy is expected
    to gain new momentum after another three-way meeting of the foreign
    ministers of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Babacan announced
    last week that the meeting is planned but that the agenda should be
    carefully decided before setting a date. Babacan had three-way talks
    with Armenia's Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian and Azerbaijan's
    Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in New York on the sidelines
    of UN General Assembly in September, where they discussed the
    Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

    Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov praised Ankara's
    proposal for establishing the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation
    Platform, calling it a very important initiative. Serdyukov arrived
    in Ankara yesterday for an official visit at the invitation of his
    Turkish counterpart, Vecdi Gönul. "We appreciate this [initiative]. In
    the same way, we also agree with Turkey's views concerning Georgia's
    territorial integrity. However, the Georgian administration's efforts
    to improve its military potential have been creating concerns. Its
    efforts to approach NATO are also leading to concerns. We believe
    that these efforts may cause bigger consequences than the incidents
    in August," Serdyukov said at a joint press conference following
    talks with Gönul.

    --Boundary_(ID_RwqGY541G9O7SVv6 99bWww)--