GeriGündem Turkey hopes to bring Armenia and Azerbaijan together in U.N. summit
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Turkey hopes to bring Armenia and Azerbaijan together in U.N. summit

Turkey hopes to bring Armenia and Azerbaijan together in U.N. summit
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Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is set to arrive in the U.S. on Saturday to attend the United Nations summit in New York. Turkey also would push for its bid for non-permanent seat a United Nations Security Council ahead of the voting in October.

A new chill in East-West relations overhangs next week's U.N. General Assembly gathering of world leaders, the first major international meeting since Russia-Georgia war last month. 


The financial turmoil on Wall Street could also cast a pall over the annual week of speechifying, whose main theme this year is stepping up aid to impoverished countries.


But for Turkey the most important aim is to bring Armenian and Azerbaijani top diplomats together on the same table with the hope of taking a step towards the solution of the conflicts.


Turkish broadcaster CNNTurk said Babacan plans to meet with his Azerbaijani and Armenian counterparts in New York on September 25 and 26 respectively on the sidelines of the UN summit.


The ministers are expected to meet both bilaterally and trilaterally to mainly discuss settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.


Armenia said it is not against holding such a meeting. Armenia’s foreign minister Edward Nalbandian also sounded optimistic about the prospects of a solution in the long-running dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, saying that such a solution would open up new possibilities for regional cooperation in a press conference on Friday.



“Mr. Babacan also proposed that a meeting should be organized in a tripartite format. I am not against the organization of such a meeting,” Nalbandian said when asked about the possibility of a trilateral meeting of three countries' top diplomats.


The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan.


Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. Some 10 percent of the Azeri population was displaced due to a series of bloody clashes both between and within the two neighboring countries.


In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are currently holding peaceful negotiations.



Turkish officials also see this summit as one of the latest opportunities to push for country's bid to become a United Nations Security Council member.


"I am going to explain (my counterparts) our demand for Council membership for the 2009-10 term. I believe that Turkey's, a country who is not present in the Council for almost 50 years, election would enhance our position and importance in the international relations," Gul told reporters in Ankara on Saturday before he left for the U.S.


He also said he does not know whether Armenian President Sarz Sargsyan would attend the summit or not but there is no scheduled meeting between two leaders. Two countries' foreign ministers would meet, he added.


A warmer period began between two neighbors, who do not have any diplomatic relations for more than a decade, after Gul paid a landmark visit to Armenia early September.


Turkey hopes this period would lead to normalization of the relations. Turkey and Armenia do not have diplomatic relations because of Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan.

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