Türkiye criticizes Armenia-US-EU talks without Azerbaijan

Türkiye has criticized Armenia's expected meeting with the United States and the European Union in Brussels, scheduled for April 5, for not including Azerbaijan, labeling it an attempt to "undermine neutrality" in the region.

"At a time when the success of a historic opportunity is so close, it is even more important that third parties, especially actors from outside the region, adopt a fair and impartial approach to the process and carefully avoid any harm to it," read a statement released by the Foreign Ministry on April 4.

The trilateral meeting excluding Azerbaijan, the statement said, would undermine the neutral approach necessary for resolving the complex problems of the region.

"This initiative, which excludes Azerbaijan, will pave the way for the South Caucasus to become an area of geopolitical conflict, rather than serving peace," it continued.

Ankara reiterated its call for third countries to consider the region's parameters and approach the conflicting parties with equal distance.

Last autumn, Azerbaijani troops recaptured the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region from Armenian separatists in a lightning offensive that effectively ended a bloody three-decade standoff between the Caucasus neighbors over control of the mountainous region.

While both Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev say a wider peace agreement is within their reach, lingering territorial disputes pose a constant threat of renewed war.

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