ANKARA — The Armenian diasporas in both France and the United States are negatively impacting the normalization process between Turkey and Armenia, Turkish President Recep  Erdogan said on Thursday.

“Diasporas are working against the normalization process both in France and in the U.S. of course, negatively affect the process. It is the Armenian administration that will turn the negative works of these diasporas into positive ones,” Erdogan told reporters in Ankara before leaving for a summit of Turkic countries in Uzbekistan.

At the same time, he suggested that Armenia could turn “the negative efforts of these diasporas into a positive direction.”

“If the Armenian administration achieves this, of course, the steps they will take with Azerbaijan over both Lachin and “Zangezur” (corridors), will positively affect the steps we will take,” said the Turkish leader as quoted by Turkey’s Anadolu news agency.

“We strive to make friends, not enemies,” Erdogan added.

Stating that he last met with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan in Prague, Erdogan said that he told Pashinyan, “If you manage relations with Azerbaijan in a positive direction, as Turkey our relations with Armenia will proceed in a positive direction.”

Stressing that he could not make a definite statement about the point reached in bilateral relations with Armenia, Erdogan emphasized that Turkey intends to make friends, not enemies.

“We are trying to make friends, not to make enemies. I hope that if the Armenian administration succeeds in this, the steps they will take with Azerbaijan regarding both Lachin and “Zangezur” will positively affect the steps we will take,” Erdogan added.

Azerbaijan insists that what it  calls the “Zangezur” corridor through Armenia’s southern Syunik province should have the same extraterritorial status as the Lachin corridor.

Armenia rejects the demand, insisting that it should maintain sovereignty over any routes passing through its territory.

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