GeriGündem Azeri pres refuses to attend Istanbul meeting over Turkey-Armenia thaw
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Azeri pres refuses to attend Istanbul meeting over Turkey-Armenia thaw

Azeri pres refuses to attend Istanbul meeting over Turkey-Armenia thaw
refid:11359442 ilişkili resim dosyası

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev has refused to attend an international meeting in Istanbul next week, a move that can be seen as a protest against the prospect of the border being opened between Armenia and Turkey, according to a report on Friday.

Aliyev has refused to accept an invitation to attend the Istanbul meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative aimed at fostering dialogue between the West and Muslim countries, Azeri News Agency APA reported.

Several leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, will attend the summit co-chaired by Turkey and Spain on April 6-7.

The report said the refusal may also be connected with Aliyev's work schedule, adding it is likely that Ankara’s refusal to take a stance on reports regarding the reopening of the borders between Turkey and Armenia may be the main reason. 

The rumors surrounding Aliyev's decision followed a report in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that Turkey and Armenia have agreed to open formal talks on a number of issues, including opening their joint border, in a step towards the normalization of relations.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic relations and their border has been closed for more than a decade over Armenia's invasion of 20 percent territory of Azerbaijan - a frozen conflict legacy of the Soviet Union called Nagorno-Karabakh.

Both countries have however been engaged in a normalization process since Turkish President Abdullah Gul paid a landmark visit to Yerevan last year to watch a World Cup qualifying football match between the countries national teams.

Azeri officials had already expressed concerns over the prospect of the border being reopened and some media reports suggested that Baku might even go one step further in halting the sale of natural gas to Turkey.

Azeri officials say that opening the border before the withdrawal of Armenian troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan would run counter to country's national interests.

 


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