Turkey, Armenia hold normalization talks in Moscow

Turkey, Armenia hold normalization talks in Moscow

Turkey, Armenia hold normalization talks in Moscow

Turkey and Armenia held talks for the normalization of ties in Moscow on Jan. 14, the first since 2009 to restore relations between the two neighboring countries.

Turkey’s special envoy Ambassador Serdar Kılıç, a former ambassador to the U.S., and Armenia’s special envoy, deputy parliamentary speaker Ruben Rubinyan, met in Moscow to draw a road map aiming to repair ties after years of animosity between the two neighbors.

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 will resume the charter flights to Yerevan, while Armenia decided to lift an embargo on Turkish goods.

Although the first meeting took place in Moscow, Turkey says it wants direct talks with Armenia without the mediation of third parties.

Ankara and Yerevan have had no diplomatic ties, and Turkey shut down its common border in 1993 in show of solidarity with Azerbaijan, which was locked in a conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. Since then Turkey and Armenia have had no direct trade routes. The indirect trade amounts to nearly $3.8 million in 2021.

In 2009, Ankara and Yerevan signed the “Zurich Protocols” to establish diplomatic relations and reopen their joint 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.

The two countries are at odds over various issues, primarily the 1915 mass killings of Armenians during First World War, as Yerevan says the killings constitute a genocide

The decision to launch talks between Turkey and Armenia has received the backing of Russia, the United States and France, the Minsk Group, as well as other leading Western nations and international organizations.