Turkey wants speedy settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which will meet all the requirements of Azerbaijan, Basat Ozturk, director general for International Security Affairs at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, told Trend June 27.

"Turkey's position in this issue is clear - we are always with Azerbaijan and it is absolute and real support," said Ozturk adding that the conflict's settlement will benefit the entire region.

He also noted the recent meeting of the Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents in St. Petersburg is a positive step.

St. Petersburg hosted a summit of Azerbaijani, Russian and Armenian presidents, Ilham Aliyev, Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sargsyan with participation of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs June 20.

Meanwhile, added Ozturk, Turkey advocates having good relations with all countries, including Russia.

"We want peace and development of relations with neighboring countries, but, of course, there should also be the will of the opposite side," he said.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry has also made a statement on the visit of Pope Francis to Armenia.

"During his trip to Armenia on 24-26 June 2016, Pope Francis visited the so-called genocide memorial, made unfortunate statements regarding the 1915 events, signed together with the Armenian Apostolic Church a Common Declaration which makes unacceptable references to the events of 1915 and on his way back alluded to statements proved to be fictious and defamatory," said the statement.

Such acts revealed once again his unconditional commitment to the Armenian narrative on the events of 1915 which is incompatible with historical facts and law, said Turkey's Foreign Ministry.

"Indeed, the statements made before the visit, as well as the preparations of the visit had established the fact that this visit was already exploited," said the statement. "Pope Francis, unfortunately, just as he did last year, left Turkey and the Turkish people frustrated. Thus, discrimination on the basis of religion was once again made between sufferings and losses in the course of the First World War."

Pope Francis' partiality towards historical events, as well as his alienation of the Other, correspond neither with his efforts towards settlement of peace and friendship among different groups as he constantly emphasizes, nor with the Press Release issued on 3 February 2016 by the Press Office of the Holy See as regard to the events of 1915 which highlights our proposal of a Joint Historical Commission and condemns terrorism with reference to the memory of Taha Car?m, the late Turkish Ambassador to Holy See who was martyred in 1977 by ASALA-affiliated terrorism, said Turkey's Foreign Ministry.

"Thus, we regrettably note that Pope Francis's trip to Armenia did not make any contribution to peace and stability in Southern Caucasus, especially in this critical period which has been demonstrated also by the clashes last April along the line of contact in Nagorno-Karabakh," said the ministry.

"In fact, it is expected from those who occupy a sanctimonious position such as the Pontificate to leave a legacy of amity and peace, as well as to take a conciliatory attitude, respectful of law," said the statement.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.

Source: Azer News