Progress on Nagorno-Karabakh talks fuels optimism over Turkey-Armenia deal
Progress on the Nagorno-Karabakh talks could help jump-start suspended efforts to reconcile Turkey and Armenia, Turkish diplomatic sources said over the weekend. "We're closely monitoring the process between Armenia and Azerbaijan," a senior Turkish diplomat told reporters. "The progress will open doors for a more comprehensive peace in the entire region, including between Turkey and Armenia." Meeting last week in Astrakhan, Russia, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Azeri President Ilham Aliyev agreed to exchange prisoners of war and victims' bodies. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who mediated the talks, said he expected more progress during the next bilateral meeting between the two parties, to be held on the sidelines of an Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) gathering. "Turkey hopes that the Astrakhan summit will make positive contributions to the solution process by adding momentum to efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute," said a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement yesterday. "We also hope that steps taken on humanitarian issues will be supported with concrete initiatives. Turkey is determined to fully support initiatives that help lay the groundwork for compromise between the parties."