Turkey says Azerbaijan, Armenia close to historic peace deal

Baku and Yerevan are closer to a peace agreement than ever, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan has said at the press conference in Azerbaijan, where he is on an official visit.

“After the 44-day war that took place three years ago, there is a historic opportunity to achieve peace in the region,” he stated on Thursday.

“We believe that today, more than ever, such an opportunity to reach a peace agreement has become much more real, and it should no longer be avoided. We welcome the positive progress towards reaching a permanent peace agreement and defining the borders between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” the minister added.

According to Fidan, “The Armenian diaspora in the West exploits the difficult situation of the Armenian people and tries to incite some countries to take a stand against Azerbaijan.”

“Instead, it would be better for them to direct their efforts to create conditions where the Armenian people can establish normal relations with their neighbors,” he continued.

He suggested that “players outside the region should pursue a policy aimed at maintaining balance and normalization.”

“The progress achieved between Azerbaijan and Armenia will have a positive impact on the process of normalizing relations between Turkey and Armenia,” Fidan stated.

He sees no obstacles in the path of normalizing relations between Ankara and Yerevan. According to him, Turkey remains fully on the side of Azerbaijan and is ready to fulfill any task within the framework of the settlement.

On September 19, tensions flared up again in Nagorno-Karabakh. Baku announced it was launching what it described as “local anti-terrorist measures” and demanded the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the region. Yerevan, in turn, said there were no Armenian forces in Karabakh, calling what was happening “an act of large-scale aggression”.

On September 20, an agreement on the cessation of hostilities was reached. On September 21, representatives of Baku and the Armenian population of Karabakh met in the Azerbaijani city of Yevlakh “to discuss reintegration issues”.

On September 28, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Samvel Shahramanyan signed a decree officially dissolving the unrecognized state effective January 1, 2024. The local ethnic Armenian population has been advised to consider the reintegration proposals being put forward by Baku and decide for themselves whether to remain or to relocate, most likely to nearby Armenia.

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