ANKARA, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - Turkey's prime minister said Wednesday his country will be normalizing relations with Armenia in parallel with the settlement process in the disputed region of Nagorny Karabakh, Turkish NTV reported.
Tayyip Erdogan was meeting with a group of 11 Azerbaijani MPs in Turkey's capital Ankara. Azerbaijan said after the meeting that Erdogan reiterated the statement he made in parliament earlier, when he said Turkey would not open the border with Armenia until the Karabakh conflict is resolved.
Turkey and Armenia signed on Saturday historic accords on restoring diplomatic relations and opening borders. The documents have yet to be ratified by the country's parliaments, and face fierce opposition from nationalist parties in both countries.
Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of support for Azerbaijan, a predominantly Muslim, Turkic-speaking ally of Ankara, following a bloody conflict between the two former Soviet republics over Nagorny Karabakh.
The region in Azerbaijan, which has a largely Armenian population, has been a source of conflict between the republics since the late 1980s and is de facto independent. Azerbaijan strongly opposes normalization of ties between Ankara and Yerevan before the Nagorny Karabakh conflict is resolved.
Meanwhile, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has arrived in the Turkish city of Bursa, where he and his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul, will watch Wednesday's game between the two countries' national soccer teams.