Turkey, Armenia hold normalization talks in Vienna
“Special Representatives for the normalization process between Turkey and Armenia, respectively, Ambassador Serdar Kılıç and Deputy Armenian Parliament Speaker Ruben Rubinyan met today [Feb. 24] in Vienna,” said a Foreign Ministry statement.
“The Special Representatives confirmed that the ultimate goal of the negotiations is to achieve full normalization between Turkey and Armenia, as agreed during their first meeting in Moscow,” said the statement.
They exchanged views on possible concrete steps that can be mutually taken to that end and reiterated their agreement to continue the process without preconditions, the ministry noted.
The normalization process suggests the establishment of diplomatic ties, the opening of sealed borders, and starting economic, trade and transportation projects between the two nations.
As part of confidence-building measures, Turkey and Armenia resumed charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan, while Armenia lifted an embargo on Turkish goods.
Ankara and Yerevan have had no diplomatic ties, and Turkey shut down its common border in 1993 in a show of solidarity with Azerbaijan, which was locked in a conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
In 2009, Ankara and Yerevan signed the “Zurich Protocols” to establish diplomatic relations and reopen their common border, but the agreement was never ratified because of opposition from Azerbaijan.
Last year, Turkey strongly backed Azerbaijan in the six-week conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, which ended with a Russia-brokered peace deal that saw Azerbaijan gain control of a significant part of Nagorno-Karabakh.
This development provided an impetus to normalize ties between Ankara and Yerevan. Turkish officials have said Ankara would proceed with the normalization process between Turkey and Armenia in coordination with Azerbaijan.