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Turkey’s talk of peace with Armenia rings hollow

A Turkey analyst reported that Turkey claims to be ready to reconcile with Armenia if Yerevan is willing to "take a step," but is that likely?
Relatives of the victims of the war over Karabakh, gather for a memorial ceremony, at the Yerablur Military Memorial Cemetery in Yerevan, on December 19, 2020. - Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan led, on December 19, 2020, thousands in a march in memory of those killed in a six-week war with Azerbaijan as the Caucasus country began three days of mourning. Pashinyan has been under huge pressure from the opposition to step down after nearly 3,000 Armenians were killed in the clashes with Azerbaijan over

In her recent Global Opinions column for The Washington Post, prominent Turkish analyst Asli Aydintasbas cited a senior adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as having told her that Turkey “is ready to normalize relations with Armenia” after helping its regional ally Azerbaijan defeat the country in a short and bloody war last November to wrest back control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. “The official now says they could engage with their historic foe and even open the border crossing,” she noted. The unnamed official told her, “The problem for us has always been Armenian occupation of Azeri territory. That’s now resolved. If Armenia is willing to take a step, we are ready.”

The assertion chimes with Turkey’s long-held policy that it would not establish diplomatic relations with its eastern neighbor nor reopen borders with it until it withdrew from Nagorno-Karabakh. The borders were sealed in 1993 to show solidarity with Azerbaijan over Armenia’s occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-majority enclave that was bestowed by Joseph Stalin to Baku to keep the satellites divided and firmly under Soviet grip.

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