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    Turkish, Azeri, Armenian ministers to meet in Helsinki next week

    Hurriyet Daily News Online
    26.11.2008 - 09:47 | Son Güncelleme:

    Turkish, Azeri and Armenian ministers would come together during a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Helsinki between Dec. 4-5 to discuss the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, Hurriyet daily reported on Wednesday. (UPDATED)

    Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and his Armenian counterpart Eduard Nalbandian decided to continue the trilateral process which began in New York in September, with another trilateral meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, Hurriyet wrote.

    Babacan, Nalbandian and Azerbaijan' Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov held a trilateral meeting in New York in September, and discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

    Babacan confirmed late on Tuesday the decision made during his meeting with Nalbandian, saying Turkish, Azeri and Armenian ministers might come together during a meeting of the OSCE next week in Helsinki.

    There is "busy diplomacy traffic" with Turkey's eastern neighbor Armenia, he told reporters before departing from the Turkish capital for a tour of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

    "We have been moving ahead and making progress with Armenia each time we talk to each other, and I hope talks between both Azerbaijan and Armenia, and Turkey and Armenia could produce certain results in a reasonable time," he was quoted by Anatolian Agency as saying.

    "Our goal is to fully normalize relations between the countries of the region and our efforts for a stability platform in the Caucasus are continuing," he said.

    Turkey proposed the establishment of a Caucasian Cooperation and Stability Platform after August's Russia-Georgia conflict in the region.

    TURKISH FM TO VISIT AZERBAIJAN
    Babacan will leave for Azerbaijan on Nov. 30 upon an invitation by Mammadyarov, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

    The Turkish foreign minister is expected to discuss a possible trilateral meeting in Helsinki with his Azerbaijan counterpart during his two-day visit.

    Babacan and Mammadyarov would also exchange views about putting the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform into practice, the ministry also said.

    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. 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.

    Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic ties and their border has been closed for more than a decade over Armenia's aggression over Azerbaijan.

     

     

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