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Erdogan urges creation of Zangezur corridor to Azerbaijan ‘as soon as possible’

September 28, 2023 at 8:40 am

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) meets Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev (R) upon Aliyev’s invitation in Azerbaijan’s autonomous Nakhchivan exclave on September 25, 2023 [TUR Presidency/Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged the establishment of the strategic Zangezur corridor in order to accelerate the territorial connection between Turkiye and Azerbaijan, as well as the Nakhchivan exclave of the latter.

Following a cabinet meeting in the Turkish capital Ankara on Tuesday, Erdogan was reported by local media as saying that, “Hopefully, we will realise the Zangezur corridor as soon as possible and make our road and rail communication with Azerbaijan uninterrupted through Nakhchivan.”

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The president’s comments came a day after his visit to Azerbaijan’s autonomous Nakhchivan exclave, where he met with his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev. The meeting followed Baku’s recent military victory over Armenian militants in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Along with discussing bilateral relations and regional and international developments, Erdogan and Aliyev also signed a deal to lay the foundation for a gas pipeline stretching from eastern Turkiye to Nakhchivan.

With Erdogan’s remarks stressing the importance of the establishment of the Zangezur corridor, both leaders seem to view it as a form of closure for the recent developments. The corridor will link Turkiye with Nakhchivan and Azerbaijan through a road and rail route.

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The concept of the corridor has long made both Armenia and Iran uneasy, as it will run alongside their borders. Concern is particularly being expressed in Tehran that the route might cut Iran off completely from Yerevan.

Erdogan has sought to ease those geopolitical concerns, however. “We hope to turn our region into a basin of peace and prosperity through joint projects that will include our neighbour Iran,” he said on Tuesday.