Turkish, Azerbaijani, and Armenian foreign ministers will meet to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in early 2009, while the agreement on the proposed Caucasus platform could also be signed in the coming year, news reports said.
Hulusi Kilic, Turkey' Ambassador to Azerbaijan, told at a press conference in Baku late on Thursday that the diplomats from countries in the region have been holding talks to draw the draft agreement on the Caucasus Security and Cooperation Platform.
The agreement could be signed in 2009, he added, Azerbaijani news agency Day.Az reported on Friday.
Turkey proposed to format a platform in the Caucasus to boost dialogue and to seek peaceful solutions to the conflicts in the region after a war between Russia and Georgia erupted in August. Turkey has increased its diplomatic campaign towards countries in the region. Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Armenia, as well as Azerbaijan, are expected to join the platform.
Turkey wants the Nagorno-Karabakh issue to be solved through peaceful means under international law, Kilic added. "Turkey has been waiting for the problem to be solved for 15 years. It does not have the patience to wait another 15 years," he was quoted as saying by state-run Anatolian Agency.
Nagorno-Karabakh, a frozen conflict legacy of the Soviet Union, has been standing at the center of Azerbaijan-Armenia and Turkey-Armenia relations. Turkey has closed its borders with Armenia due to Yerevan's aggression against Azerbaijan.
The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia began in 1988 on Armenian territorial claims over Azerbaijan. Since 1992 Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts.
Both countries continue with fruitless peace negotiations. The OSCE Minsk Group, co-chaired by the United States, Russia, and France, is engaged in peace settling of the conflict.
Kilic said Turkey advocated Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and rightful stance of Azerbaijan on the matter, noting, "The Upper Karabakh problem should be solved soon and the occupation should end."
The issue would dominate the agenda of the meeting between Turkish, Armenian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers planned to be held in January or February, Azerbaijani TrendNews reported Kilic as saying.
Ali Babacan of Turkey, Elmar Mammadyarov of Azerbaijan and Edward Nalbandian of Armenia will also discuss the Caucasus Platform which was initiated by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, he said.