Turkey aims to cultivate stability and peace in the South Caucasus, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Monday.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah in the capital Ankara, Çavuşoğu touched upon the recent normalization efforts with Armenia.
Underlining the importance of cooperation in the region, he highlighted the significance of joint projects that connect the countries and contribute to their economies.
"Our desire is the development of stability and peace in the South Caucasus, also the realization of projects that contribute to the economy that connects countries, just like the Zangezur corridor," he said.
Once part of Azerbaijan's territory, Zangezur was later assigned by the Soviet Union to the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic in the 1920s. It is now set to be the site of a new passageway between Azerbaijan and Nakhchivan in the wake of last year's conflict in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Azerbaijan has plans for many projects in the Zangezur corridor, including motorways and rail lines.
Reiterating that a special representative will be appointed and that the move was reciprocated by Yerevan, Çavuşoğlu also noted that airlines' requests to operate flights will be answered.
The international community, including the United States, has welcomed the initiative taken by Turkey and Armenia to mend long-broken relations.
The borders between the two countries have been closed for decades and diplomatic relations have been on hold.
Armenia and Turkey signed a landmark peace accord in 2009 to restore ties and open their shared border after decades, but the deal was never ratified and ties have remained tense.
Relations between Armenia and Turkey have historically been complicated. Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that Armenians lost their lives in eastern Anatolia after some sided with the invading Russians and revolted against the Ottoman forces. The subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties, with massacres by militaries and militia groups from both sides increasing the death toll.
Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission made up of historians from Turkey and Armenia and international experts to tackle the issue.
The relationship deteriorated more recently after Turkey supported Azerbaijan, which fought a brief war with Yerevan last year for control of the Armenian-occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region. However, countries in the region have recently been signaling a desire for further cooperation in the South Caucasus.
Ankara has made frequent calls for a six-nation platform comprising of Turkey, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia for permanent peace, stability and cooperation in the region, saying it would be a win-win initiative for all regional actors in the Caucasus.
Turkey believes that permanent peace is possible through mutual security-based cooperation among the states and people of the South Caucasus region.
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