Obama, Erdogan discuss Karabakh, Armenian Genocide bills at Seoul talks

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan (left) and U.S. President Barack Obama

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan (left) and U.S. President Barack Obama

Photo: www.sabah.com.tr


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has suggested to U.S. President Barack Obama that Turkey and the OSCE Minsk Group join efforts in solving the long-standing Karabakh conflict.

Meeting in Seoul, South Korea, on Sunday, ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit, the two leaders reportedly focused on the current situation around Syria, but also discussed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Erdogan also expressed Turkey’s discontent over the new resolution in the U.S. Congress regarding the Armenian Genocide.

“I reminded Obama that during the past two decades the OSCE Minsk Group has not succeeded in settling the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. And since the issue has reached a deadlock, I suggested that we talk to Azeris and Minsk Group co-chairing France, Russia and the United States try to persuade Armenia, so that they can solve the issue,” said Erdogan, as quoted by the Turkish Sabah newspaper.

“I told Obama that we are tired. Every year in April we face the same problem, whether Republicans come [to power] or Democrats, the issue remains the same. I showed him the steps we had taken, brought Akhtamar as an example,” said Erdogan, referring to the reconstruction of the medieval Armenian church in the Van lake island of Akhtamar in 2010, and the permission to Armenian Christians to hold liturgies there once a year.

The Turkish premier called on Obama “not to mistake U.S. senators, lawmakers and politicians for historians”.

A number of U.S. House Resolutions calling for the recognition of the Ottoman-era killings and deportations of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide have been submitted to the U.S. Congress over the past few years; the most recent one was formally introduced at the Senate last week.