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Armenia Ready to Re-establish Diplomatic Ties with Turkey

According to a Turkish news agency, Armenia has reportedly said that the country is ready to re-establish diplomatic ties with Turkey. Turkish state-owned news agency Anadolu Agency reported that the Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan said that the country is not only ready to establish diplomatic ties with Ankara but also open its borders to Turkey.

The visiting foreign minister held talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on 12 March at the resort city of Antalya. The leader was attending Antalya Diplomatic Forum held at the resort city. These talks were part of efforts from both sides to normalize ties between the two countries. 

Turkish Minister described these talks as “productive and constructive.”

Following last week’s talks, the news agency quoted the Armenian minister as saying, “Armenia is ready to establish diplomatic relations and open borders with Turkey.” The minister also added: “I am glad to hear from my Turkish colleague that there is the political will to lead the process towards that goal.”

Last week’s face-to-face talks were the first such talks to mend ties between the two countries. Last, the foreign ministers had interacted way back in 2009.

While the neighbours have several contentious issues which remain unresolved, one of the main grudges of the Armenians is the killing of 1.5 people by the Ottoman Empire. Armenians describe the 1915 killing as “genocide.”

Ankara accepts that Armenians were killed during World War I in clashes with the Ottoman Empire, however, they deny there was any systematic targeting of ethnic Armenians.

The countries did not have any diplomatic ties in the 1990s. This year in January, the representatives met for the first time in Moscow to normalize ties. The sides signed a peace accord in 2009. The representatives also met in November last year on the sidelines of the OSCE meeting.

The tension between Yerevan and Ankara flared up again during the 2020 war over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Turkey accused Yerevan of occupying land belonging to Azerbaijan.