"OBAMA SAID HIS VIEWS ON THE KILLINGS OF ARMENIANS IN THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY, WHICH HE HAS PREVIOUSLY REFERRED TO AS GENOCIDE, HAVE NOT CHANGED"
"On the margins of tonight's Alliance of Civilizations dinner, the president met the foreign ministers of Turkey, Armenia and Switzerland to commend their efforts toward Turkish-Armenian normalization and to urge them to complete an agreement with dispatch," a senior US official told reporters in İstanbul on Monday evening, according to Turkish Zaman.
According to the newspaper, "prospects of normal relations between Turkey and Armenia have caused great unease in Azerbaijan, where politicians and the media criticize the Turkish government for its efforts aimed at peace with Armenia despite a lack of progress on the Nagorno-Karabakh problem".
Speaking at a meeting with Cabinet ministers and high-level state officials on Monday night, Aliyev declared that Nagorno-Karabakh will never be independent despite Armenian efforts to that effect. Aliyev insisted that the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh would never be accepted by the international community.
Zaman underlines that "any move toward reconciliation with Armenia requires a careful balancing act for Turkish foreign policy makers, who do not want to harm Ankara's strategic ties with Azerbaijan. Normal ties between Turkey and Armenia could help shore up stability in the Southern Caucasus, crisscrossed by oil and gas pipelines which make it of strategic importance to Russia, Europe and the United States, and push Armenia away from Russia toward the US-led Western camp. But possible damage to Turkish-Azerbaijani ties also poses risks to Turkey and the West. Azerbaijan is a major supplier of natural gas and oil, transported to Western markets through Turkish territory, and thus represents a key alternative to Russia as an energy supplier".
Speaking after talks with President Abdullah Gül on Monday, Obama said his views on the killings of Armenians in the early 20th century, which he has previously referred to as genocide, have not changed, but he signaled that he would not use the word "genocide" in a traditional message US presidents issue on April 24, Turkish Zaman reports.