Turkish, Armenian envoys to meet in Moscow on Jan 14

Turkish, Armenian envoys to meet in Moscow on Jan 14

Turkish, Armenian envoys to meet in Moscow on Jan 14

Special envoys from Turkey and Armenia will hold their first meeting aimed at normalizing their ties on Jan. 14 in Moscow, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry announced on Jan. 5.

The two neighbors have no diplomatic ties and they agreed last month to appoint special representatives to conduct talks for ways of establishing formal ties and end years of tense relations.

Turkey appointed Serdar Kılıç, a former ambassador to the United States, as its special representative, while Armenia appointed deputy parliamentary speaker Ruben Rubinyan.

The first meeting of the representatives of Armenia and Turkey would take place in Moscow upon the demand of Yerevan, said Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Dec. 30, noting that Ankara prefers direct talks after this meeting.

Direct contacts, including mutual visits between Armenia and Turkey, should be established and a road map should be determined for the steps to be taken in order to normalize relations, Çavuşoğlu stated.

As part of confidence-building measures, Turkey will resume the charter flights to Yerevan, while Armenia has decided to lift an embargo on the Turkish goods. The embargo was imposed after Turkey’s strong backing to Azerbaijan in the six-week long war with Armenia that ended with the liberation of the occupied Azeri territories.

Ankara and Yerevan had reached an agreement in 2009 to establish formal relations and to open their joint border, but the agreement was never ratified because of opposition from Azerbaijan. This time around, however, the reconciliation efforts have Azerbaijan’s blessing and Turkish officials have said Ankara would “coordinate” the normalization process with Azerbaijan.

Turkey, a close ally of Azerbaijan, shut down its border with Armenia in 1993, in a show of solidarity with Baku, which was locked in a conflict with Armenia over the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region.

In 2020, 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 the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh.

As Azerbaijan took control of most of the disputed region, this development provided impetus to normalize ties between Ankara and Yerevan.