Turkey, Armenia to launch mutual charter flights today
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.
Turkish private carrier Pegasus will hold its first flight from Istanbul to Yerevan on Feb. 2 with a return flight on Feb. 3, its spokesperson said, noting they would hold three reciprocal flights per week.
Likewise, Armenia’s authorities allowed Fly One Armenia to execute three flights weekly to Istanbul.
Amid these rapprochement efforts, Turkey incited Armenian officials to this year’s Antalya Diplomacy Forum between March 11-13 in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said on Jan. 14 that Armenia will likely attend the diplomatic forum.
Armenia also lifted an embargo on Turkish goods in early January as part of the mutual gestures.
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 the Zurich Protocols, for establishing diplomatic ties, as well as improving ties in economy, transportation, trade and other issues.
The process was not accomplished because of Azerbaijan’s strong reaction against Turkey. Azerbaijan’s liberation of its occupied lands after a 44-day war with Armenia in late 2020 provided impetus for the Ankara-Yerevan rapprochement.