Peace and stability in the South Caucasus will be a cornerstone of Turkish foreign policy, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday.
Any resolution of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh should take into account Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, he added as he set off for an official visit to Azerbaijan’s capital Baku.
Azerbaijan and Armenia, two former Soviet republics, fought a war over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh between 1988 and 1994.
Referring to a possible permanent solution, Erdogan said: "We will evaluate the possible contributions of Turkey within that scope.”
Erdogan also praised the level of cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan, in particular the gas and oil pipelines crossing the countries that not only “contribute to cooperation between Turkey and Azerbaijan but also to regional prosperity and stability.”
On Thursday Erdogan will attend a NATO summit in Wales, which he said should focus on the crisis in Iraq and Syria.
"The developments, especially in Syria and Iraq and in other parts of the Middle East, show that this fire will not die down by itself,” he added. “To stop it from spilling over into a larger area definitely requires us to build a shared agenda."
Touching on the crisis in Ukraine and tension between the West and Russia, Erdogan went on: "A polarization resembling the Cold War or a new frozen conflict will not be in the interests of anyone."