09:14 GMT05 December 2020
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    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said that Turkey will open the border with Armenia after Yerevan settles the conflict with Baku over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkey will open the border with Armenia after Yerevan settles the conflict with Baku over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek said Saturday.

    "We do believe that the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh should end. And if that ends, clearly, Turkey would be more than happy to help Armenia and open door," Simsek said at the 62nd session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Istanbul, as broadcast by the Haberler online newspaper.

    Simsek added that Turkey had "special relations" with Azerbaijan but would definitely mend ties with Armenia if Armenian conflict with Azerbaijan was resolved.

    On Thursday, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan told Sputnik that Ankara and Yerevan could only sign an agreement on opening the border without any preconditions, citing Turkey's demand to pressure Nagorno-Karabakh into transferring one of its districts to Azerbaijan, as an example of such request.

    Azerbaijan's Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh proclaimed its independence in 1991. After the military conflict ended in 1994, Azerbaijan lost control over the region.

    Violence erupted in Nagorno-Karabakh on April 2, 2016 and led to multiple casualties. The parties to the conflict signed a Russian-brokered ceasefire on April 5, but mutual accusations have not stopped so far.


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