Special envoys from Turkey and Armenia meet in bid to end chilly relations

Special envoys from Turkey and Armenia met in Moscow on Friday for a primary spherical of assembly aimed toward ending many years of bitterness between their international locations and establishing diplomatic ties. Both international locations mentioned the assembly was carried out in a “positive and constructive atmosphere.”

Although Turkey was among the many first international locations to acknowledge Armenia’s independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the 2 neighbors share a bitter relationship and haven’t any diplomatic ties.

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Both international locations hope that the talks will bolster peace efforts for the Caucasus area and result in the reopening of their border to encourage commerce and increase financial ties. Charter flights between Yerevan and Istanbul are anticipated to renew subsequent month.

In separate statements, the Turkish and Armenian overseas ministries mentioned their particular representatives “exchanged their preliminary views regarding the normalization process.”

They mentioned the 2 sides would proceed with their negotiations “without preconditions,” including that the date and venue of their second assembly can be determined later.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency mentioned the assembly between the envoys lasted for 1 1/2 hours. Serdar Kilic, a former Turkish ambassador to the United States, is representing Ankara within the talks, whereas Armenia appointed its deputy parliamentary speaker, Ruben Rubinyan.

Armenia mentioned it anticipated the talks to end result within the institution of diplomatic ties and the reopening of the border, including that Yerevan was getting into the talks with no stipulations.

“The Republic of Armenia has always stated that it is ready to normalize relations with Turkey without any preconditions,” Vahan Hunanyan, the Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman mentioned in an interview with the Armenian press service on Thursday.

It’s the regional foes’ second try at reconciliation.

Turkey and Armenia reached an settlement in 2009 to ascertain formal relations and to open their joint border, however the settlement was by no means ratified due to robust opposition from Azerbaijan.

This time round, nevertheless, the reconciliation efforts have Azerbaijan’s blessing. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has mentioned Ankara would “coordinate” the normalization course of with Azerbaijan.

Turkey, a detailed ally of Azerbaijan, shut down its border with Armenia in 1993, in a present of solidarity with Baku, which was locked in a battle with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh area.

In 2020, Turkey strongly backed Azerbaijan within the six-week battle with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, which ended with a Russia-brokered peace deal that noticed Azerbaijan achieve management of a big a part of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Turkey and Armenia even have a greater than century-old hostility over the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians in massacres, deportations and compelled marches that started in 1915 in Ottoman Turkey.

Historians broadly view the occasion as genocide. Turkey vehemently rejects the label, conceding that many died in that period, however insisting that the loss of life toll is inflated and the deaths resulted from civil unrest.

Last 12 months, US President Joe Biden formally recognized the killings as genocide, becoming a member of a number of different international locations which have already executed so.

Read extra:

Russia: 2,000 fighters from Middle East joined Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict

Armenia seeks expansion of Russian military presence on its territory

Russia, Turkey open joint center to monitor Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire

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