Ambassador Hulusi Kilic: “We consider it as a backup option to open Turkey-Armenia borders temporarily for transportation of exercise equipments” – INTERVIEW - PHOTOSESSION

Ambassador Hulusi Kilic: “We consider it as a backup option to open Turkey-Armenia borders temporarily for transportation of exercise equipments” – <font color=red>INTERVIEW - PHOTOSESSION</font>
# 20 August 2010 11:33 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Gulshan Hajiyeva – APA. APA’s interview with Turkish ambassador to Azerbaijan Hulusi Kilic

-How do you evaluate the visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Azerbaijan?

-The visit of our honorable president to Azerbaijan once demonstrated the close cooperation between the two countries. During the visit he had one-on-one meeting with honorable President Ilham Aliyev, meeting with the participation of the delegations, with speaker of the parliament Ogtay Asadov, Prime Minister Artur Rasizadeh, chairman of the Muslim Board for the Caucasus Allahshukur Pashazadeh. The further development of the relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan was discussed during the meeting. Moreover, the sides assessed the measures that can be taken to make Caucasus a stable and safe region. Abdullah Gul also visited Shaki. He was pleased with the warm attitude and love in Shaki.

-Some media reports claim that the visit did not produce the expected results. What do you think about these claims?

- The visit of our honorable president aimed at exchanging views on the bilateral and regional issues, speed up the development of the political, economic, military and cultural relations. The meetings show that the goal of the visit was reached. The contract signed between the two countries on strategic cooperation and mutual assistance made the visit much more important. Azerbaijan and Turkey reached and agreement to establish Supreme Strategic Cooperation Council. In this respect I can say that the visit was very effective. Mutual visits of the presidents and prime ministers of the two countries are of special importance.

- Turkey-Armenia borders will reportedly be opened temporarily during the NATO exercises in Armenia. Abdullah Gul left this question without answer at the press conference. Is it possible to open the borders temporarily?

- I don’t think that President Gul left this question without answer. Turkey has made its position clear many times. The exercises have a humanitarian character and aims to prevent natural disasters. We consider it as a backup option to open the Turkey-Armenia borders temporarily for transportation of exercise equipments only if there is a request for that taken the humanitarian character of the exercise. Reports and comments on this subject are not true. No one can explain it just as own choice. Turkey doesn’t change its position toward the border opening.

- Visa issue was not resolved again. What is a reason that this problem still remains unresolved?

- The journalists are frequently asking me this question and I am forced to answer it. Turkish citizens are also asking about that. Turkey has implemented visa privileges for the Azerbaijani citizens traveling to Turkey since August 1, 2007. We are expecting for same action by friendly country Azerbaijan. Both presidents were asked about that at the press conference. President Ilham Aliyev said “it needs to realize some domestic procedures in Azerbaijan to solve this issue”. Following the completion of some domestic procedures, we are expecting from Azerbaijan to implement visa privileges for the Turkish citizens.

-Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said they were willing to Azerbaijan-Turkey-Greece-Italy summit several months ago. Why this summit didn’t take place? is this issue on agenda still?

-Turkey and Azerbaijan have done great work and are continuing to do that together. I would like to emphasize the importance of gas agreement signed in Istanbul on June 7, 2010. It is a great event to deliver Azerbaijani natural resources to the European markets. Activity at the bilateral, regional and international level is demanded in this issue.

-In what other cities of Azerbaijan Turkey wants to open a consulate?

- Currently, we carry out works in the direction of beginning the activity of Consulate General in Ganja. Consul General has been appointed to this mission. Our new Consul General in Ganja Haluk Aghja will start his duty on September 15. He was in the composition of the delegation headed by Abdullah Gul who was on a visit to Azerbaijan. After the visit, I took him to Ganja and introduced him to Head of Ganja City Executive Power Eldar Azizov. We think to open honorary consulates in some important cities of Azerbaijan in future.

-Azerbaijan and Turkey cooperate in all spheres. Turkey is the member of NATO, and Azerbaijan is a partner of this organization. And is it possible to hold a joint military training between Azerbaijan and Turkey within this framework? Is this issue discussed at any level?

- The cooperation between Turkish Armed Forces and Azerbaijani Armed Forces is continued in this framework. Holding the joint military training between the military units of our countries is possible in future in case of agreement of our related military circles.

-What happened with Prime Minister Rajap Tayyip Erdogan’s suggestion on Stability and Peace Platform in the Caucasus?

- This suggestion - proposed after the happened armed incident in August, 2008 in Georgia, seeks establishment of significant conditions for peaceful regulation of existing discord in the Caucasus with mutual confidence and establishment of regional political dialogue. Joining of deputy foreign ministers of the region countries in Turkey in oppressed period 2 years ago is a great success. Our efforts and activities continue in this direction.