“Through this visit, we will be reinforcing [Ambassador Feridun] Sinirlioğlu’s earlier talks in Baku. There has been an acceleration regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute recently, and this momentum has been reflected on the international stage. We held multidimensional talks in Washington. I will explain [to Aliyev] what happened in Washington word for word,” Davutoğlu said on Monday, while speaking to a group of journalists on board a plane en route to Baku from Ankara.
The minister had already announced that he planned to visit Baku on Monday while speaking at a press conference at the Turkish Embassy in Washington on Thursday. Davutoğlu, who accompanied Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to a nuclear security summit in the US capital last Monday and Tuesday, stayed in Washington after Erdoğan’s departure and had talks with senior US officials.
Davutoğlu’s visit is apparently aimed at highlighting Ankara’s determination to keep Baku informed regarding every step of Turkey’s normalization process with Armenia.
The minister’s remarks while traveling to Baku referred to the fact that only days before his talks with Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan and US President Barack Obama and before Davutoğlu’s meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in Washington, Erdoğan sent Sinirlioğlu, a Foreign Ministry undersecretary, on successive visits first to Yerevan and then to Baku as his special envoy.
“We are testing the waters in every country in the Caucasus. Now everybody has the conviction that this problem [the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute] should be resolved,” Davutoğlu went on to say.
On Thursday in Yerevan, the day when Davutoğlu announced his Baku visit, the official website of Armenian President Sarksyan announced that he will pay a short working visit to Moscow on April 20, today, and hold talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The latter had a bilateral meeting with Erdoğan while in Washington.
Russia, along with France and the United States, is one the three co-chairs of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has striven to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“Russia’s contributions are very important and it has been making a significant contribution,” Davutoğlu said, recalling that Medvedev will pay an official visit to Turkey next month.
Referring to Erdoğan’s meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy earlier this month as well as his meetings with Obama and Medvedev, namely the heads of states of the three co-chairs of the Minsk process, Davutoğlu added, “A picture has emerged; we will share this picture with the Azerbaijani authorities.”
In Ankara, while addressing a parliamentary group meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on Monday, Erdoğan explained that during his talks with Sarksyan, “while emphasizing Turkey’s sincerity on the point of implementing the protocols and normalizing relations with Armenia,” he also told him that “Armenia should show the same sincerity as well.”
“Additionally, we underlined the fact that relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and reaching a resolution over rayons [administrative units greater than a district but smaller than a province which surround the Nagorno-Karabakh region] will be determining factors in implementing the protocols,” Erdoğan added.
Davutoğlu, meanwhile, cautioned that imposing deadlines regarding the Nagorno-Karabakh resolution process was not appropriate: “The process should run its natural course. Changing the status quo is not easy.”