Azerbaijan-Armenia agree on Turkey-led Nagorno-Karabakh plan

11 Şubat 2009 - 00:00Son Güncelleme : 11 Şubat 2009 - 18:54

Armenia and Azerbaijan reached a partial agreement on a solution plan for the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The agreement came after the Turkish foreign minister’s contacts with officials from both countries, Hurriyet daily reported on Wednesday. (UPDATED)

The sides agree on the four points of the draft plan that aimed at resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Hurriyet added. 

 

According to the plan, Armenia will return some of the towns surrounding the Nagorno-Karabakh region to Azerbaijan in a specific timetable and repatriate those Azeris who were forced to leave the regions, the report said.

 

The administration of the Nagorno-Karabakh region will be handed to a provisional body and Kelbejer will be returned to Azerbaijan after the status of the region is determined, Hurriyet added.

 

The railroad and highway between Azerbaijan and Armenia will be opened, while an international peace force will be deployed at the border region between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, the report said.

 

Officials said any step taken towards the solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will have a positive impact on Turkey-Armenia relations. Turkey closed its borders with Armenia in the 1990s to protest Yerevan's occupation of Azerbaijani territory.

 

BABACAN'S CONTACTS

Hurriyet said the agreement came after the busy meeting traffic of Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. He met with Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian and President Serzh Sargsyan on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

 

He later held a meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Memmdyarov on the plane on their way to Ankara. On board, the two ministers took the snap decision not to land in Ankara but travel onto Baku where they met with Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev on Monday.

 

Nagorno-Karabakh, a frozen conflict legacy of the Soviet Union, has been standing at the center of Azerbaijan-Armenia and Turkey-Armenia relations. Turkey closed its borders with Armenia due to Yerevan's aggression against Azerbaijan.

 

The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia began in 1988 on Armenian territorial claims over Azerbaijan. Since 1992 Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts.

 

Both countries continue with fruitless peace negotiations. The OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by the United States, Russia, and France, is engaged in efforts to the conflict peacefully.

 

TURKEY, ARMENIA DENIALS

A spokesman from the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday Turkey is not included in a solution plan to the issue, though it is an issue that concerns the country.

 

"There is no discussion of Turkey’s inclusion in a Nagorno-Karabakh plan. We are just gathering information from both sides," Burak Ozugergin told Anatolian Agency.

 

A spokesman from the Armenian Foreign Ministry also said the Nagorno-Karabakh issue was not discussed at the meeting of Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers.

 

"Talks on the settlement of the Karabakh problem with Turkey's help were not held", said Tigran Balayan, head of Armenian Foreign Ministry press department, according to Azeri and Azerbaijani media.

 

"As Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan said repeatedly, talks about a resolution of the Karabakh problem were being held under the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs on the basis of Madrid proposals", said Balayan.

 

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