Former Turkish President Demirel Warns Against Opening Borders

ANKARA (Combined Sources)–Former Turkish President Suleyman Demirel, during whose presidency the border with Armenia was shut down, said Monday that a possible agreement between Armenia and Turkey to open the borders would not be beneficial for Turkey.

“The US, Europe and Russia want to solve their geopolitical problems in the South Caucasus at the cost of reopening Turkey-Armenia borders,” said Demirel in an interview with the Milliyet newspaper.

Demirel claimed that during his presidency that US, on several occasions, had pressured Turkey to open the borders.

“Every time I asked what Turkey would gain from it, they could never answer my question,” said the former president.

Demirel said that the US was interested in opening the Turkish-Armenian border to diminish Russia’s influence in the region, and thus strengthen its position with Armenian, a scenario, which he thinks would be detrimental for Azerbaijan.

“In such a scenario, the resolution to the conflict will be delayed, which is tantamount to losing Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Demirel, adding that Turkey could prove its leadership in the region by setting conditions to ensure the return of liberated territories around the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

“Turkey will gain nothing from improving relations with Armenia, unless the territories are returned. Moreover, Armenia has territorial claims against Turkey and does not give up genocide allegations. Armenia has not recognized our borders, while we recognize them. They have made Agri Mountain [Mt. Ararat] their symbol and killed about 40 Turkish diplomats. And now they say %u218You committed genocide and must apologize.’ Some countries pass decisions on the so-called genocide. I think Turkey need not improve relations with Armenia unless the above-mentioned problems are resolved,” added Demirel.


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