PACE PRESIDENT VOWS TO STAY IMPARTIAL ON KARABAKH

Journal of Turkish Weekly
May 14 2010

President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
(PACE), Mevlut Cavusoglu, who was in the Armenian capital Yerevan on
a formal visit, pledged to stay impartial on Upper Karabakh issue.

At a press conference after his talks in Yerevan on Thursday,
Cavusoglu, a Turkish parliamentarian, was asked if he could maintain
his objectivity as a Turkish lawmaker.

"As the president of PACE, all 47 member countries are equal to me
and I believe they all should have the same rights," Cavusoglu said.

Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan in 1988. In 1992
and 1993, Armenia occupied Azerbaijani territories in Upper Karabakh.

Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire in 1994. Turkey shut down
its border gate and cut off diplomatic ties with Yerevan in 1993 after
Armenian army forces occupied Azerbaijan's Karabakh region. Turkey and
Armenia signed two protocols in October 2009 to normalize relations,
reopen their border and restore diplomatic ties.

During his stay in Armenia, Cavusoglu had meetings with Armenian
President Serzh Sargsian, Parliament Speaker Ovik Abramian, and
representatives from opposition parties.

Asked why he did not visit a memorial in Yerevan which depicts
Armenian allegations on the incidents of 1915, Cavusoglu said there
was no conditions in PACE regulations for president to visit or not
to visit a place.

"I checked itineraries of former presidents and I could not see
a visit to the memorial. Also, this is my personal decision and I
expect respect to my decision," he said.