Turkey, Armenia pledges to continue normalization talks without preconditions
The special representatives of Turkey and Armenia held the third round of normalization talks in Vienna on May 3 and agreed to continue the negotiations without preconditions, the Foreign Ministry has said.
“The special representatives reaffirmed the declared goal of achieving full normalization between their respective countries through this process,” a written statement said on May 3.
In this sense, the envoys had a “sincere and productive exchange of concrete views and discussed possible steps that can be undertaken for tangible progress in this direction,” the ministry said.
The two countries reiterated their agreement to continue the process without preconditions, it added.
The first two rounds of meetings had taken place in Moscow in January and Vienna in February. Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mizroyan came to Turkey in March to attend the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, where he held a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.
Turkey and Armenia have not established diplomatic ties since the early 1990s after the latter gained independence. Armenia’s occupation of Azerbaijani territories in Nagorno-Karabakh was the primary reason for Turkey’s sealing of the borders with Armenia and not establishing normal ties with it. In the first two rounds, the special representatives exchanged views on possible concrete steps that could be mutually taken to that end and reiterated their agreement to continue the process without preconditions.
The normalization process aims to allow the establishment of diplomatic ties, the opening of sealed borders, and starting of economic, trade and transportation projects between the two nations. As part of the confidence-building measures, Turkey and Armenia resumed charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan, while Armenia lifted an embargo on Turkish goods.
Turkey says it is coordinating the Ankara-Yerevan normalization process with Azerbaijan, which seeks a final agreement with Armenia following the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war. Along with Baku, Moscow also supports the process between Turkey and Armenia, Ankara says, underlining that reconciliation in the South Caucasus will be in the interest of all regional parties, including Georgia, Iran and Russia.
“We need to do everything to ensure that negotiations with Turkey do not come to a standstill. We are aware that the results of the process may not come fast and let our international partners know about this,” Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian said on April 13.
“Our international partners fully support the normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations,” he said in a speech he made at the Armenian parliament.