ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
President Abdullah Gül (L) welcomes Libyan PM Ali Zeidan in Ankara. Courtesy of the President’s Office
President Abdullah Gül has congratulated Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan after the latter scored a crushing victory in elections for a second five-year mandate.
“According to the information received from the presidency, Gül sent a message of congratulation to Sargsyan,” Anatolia news agency reported yesterday, without giving any further detail.
The two leaders were key figures in the now-stalled rapprochement process between the estranged neighbors. The process began with Sargsyan’s invitation to Gül to an Armenia-Turkey World Cup qualifying football match in Yerevan in 2008. The two countries have never had diplomatic relations, and Ankara
closed its border with Yerevan in 1993 because of its war with Azerbaijan
over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. In October 2009, Armenian and Turkish officials initiated the protocols to normalize the relations between the two countries. However, the protocols have not been ratified since then and have faced immense criticism in both countries.
The protocols, which call for the establishment of diplomatic ties and the reopening of the shared border, also called for a joint commission to examine the two countries’ shared history.