Matt Bryza, the assistant Secretary of State held meetings in Ankara yesterday with the senior officials of the Foreign Ministry about the developments on the Turkish-Armenian talks and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Coming to Ankara from Yerevan, Bryza was scheduled to visit Azerbaijan. The U.S. official’s trip to the region comes just before April 24, the day that commemorates the mass killings of Armenians in 1915.
The U.S. pressed both Turkey and Armenia to move forward in their reconciliatory talks and come up with a joint declaration on the establishment of diplomatic ties and opening the border before April 24. However, due to growing criticism from Azerbaijan, Turkey decided to slow the process down and declared that "the border with Armenia will not be opened before a settlement is reached on Nagorno-Karabakh."
Diplomatic sources said Bryza’s trip was mainly focusing on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict ahead of a planned meeting between the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Meanwhile, the Global Political Trends Center arranged a roundtable meeting yesterday for Turkish journalists with the Boris Navasardian, the president of the Yerevan Press Club, at Istanbul’s Kültür University. Navasardian, who has visited Turkey several times since 1998, said that to progress toward solving the issue Ğ especially opening the border Ğ between Armenia and Turkey, both sides had to insist on resuming relations. Navasardian also said that until recently, the actors dealing with the Caucasus region, such as United States, Russia and European Union, had urged the two countries to open the border, but after Azerbaijan’s objection, Russia is now far from the position that it had taken before.