Armenia warm to attend Antalya diplomacy forum: PM Pashinyan

Armenia warm to attend Antalya diplomacy forum: PM Pashinyan

Armenia warm to attend Antalya diplomacy forum: PM Pashinyan

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Jan. 14 that Armenia will likely attend this year’s Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya.

“Our special representatives have met. If the process continues like this, it is highly possible that Armenia will participate in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum,” he said at a virtual news conference.

Recalling normalization talks between Armenia and Turkey, he said it would be unreasonable to miss the opportunity for dialogue.

The annual Antalya Diplomacy Forum will be held on March 11-13 with the theme “Recoding Diplomacy.”

The special envoys from Turkey and Armenia, Serdar Kılıç and Ruben Rubinyan, respectively, held their first meeting in Moscow on Jan. 14 for the normalization of ties between the two countries through the establishment of diplomatic relations and opening the sealed borders. Both sides have described the first encounter as positive and productive and stated their agreement for the continuation of the dialogue.

In parallel to these talks, Turkey and Armenia have announced the resumption of charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan. The first flights will take place on Feb. 2.

Turkey and Armenia will discuss what further steps can be taken after the resumption of charter flights as part of an ongoing process for the normalization of ties, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told reporters following a cabinet meeting late Jan. 18.

“In the first meeting of the special envoys, the objectives of this process and expectations from this process were discussed. The special envoys, in their next meeting, will work on which steps could be taken following the resumption of flights,” he stated.

“The objective [of the process] is full normalization. The Armenians are also very content with this,” Çavuşoğlu said. The two special envoys will continue to discuss what other confidence-building measures can be taken to strengthen the existing political process.

Turkey and Armenia had failed to establish diplomatic ties because of the latter’s occupation of Azerbaijani territories in Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s. They have also sealed the borders and have never opened them since then.

The two countries attempted to restore ties in 2009 by signing two documents, dubbed Zurich Protocols, for establishing diplomatic ties, as well as improving ties in economy, transportation, trade and other issues.