ANKARA, Turkey, April 10 (UPI) -- Washington's effort at restoring diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia faces derailment without support from Azerbaijan.
At stake are outstanding issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan regarding disputes over Nagorno-Karabakh and historical acrimony between Armenia and Turkey from the Armenian massacres under the Ottoman Empire in World War I.
Apart from regional concerns, Azerbaijan sits as a major energy hub, hosting the Shah Deniz gas field, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and possibly the planned Nabucco pipeline to Europe, all key interests of Ankara.
Baku, however, issued harsh statements in response to a Turkish decision to consider reopening the border with Armenia, saying the proposal was a blow to Turkish-Azeri relations.
Government officials told Today's Zaman that Turkey plans to open the border in October in time for a World Cup qualifying match with Armenia, giving Ankara the time needed to placate any concerns from Baku.