Armenia, Turkey envoys to meet in Moscow in bid to mend ties

By: AFP
Published: 10:41 PM, 5 Jan, 2022
Armenia, Turkey envoys to meet in Moscow in bid to mend ties
Caption: Armenia, Turkey envoys to meet in Moscow in bid to mend ties.
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Armenia and Turkey's new special envoys will meet for the first time in Moscow on January 14 in a bid to mend ties between the arch foes, both countries said Wednesday.

Armenia and Turkey have no diplomatic relations, a closed border and a long history of hostility rooted in mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Turks during World War I.

The bitter relationship deteriorated more recently over Turkey's support for Azerbaijan, which in 2020 fought a war with Armenia for control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

But the countries have recently made tentative moves to improve relations and last month appointed special envoys.

"The first meeting of the special representatives of Armenia and Turkey will be held on January 14 in Moscow," Armenian foreign ministry spokesman Vahan Hunanyan wrote on Facebook.

Turkey's foreign ministry confirmed the meeting in a statement.

Turkey has nominated former Washington ambassador Serdar Kilic as special envoy, while Armenia appointed Ruben Rubinyan, deputy speaker of the National Assembly.

Turkish and Armenian companies have also applied for permission for charter flights between Istanbul and Yerevan.

Late last month the Armenian economy ministry said it was lifting an embargo on Turkish goods originally imposed over Ankara's backing of Turkic-speaking Azerbaijan in the Karabakh conflict.

The six-week war claimed around 6,500 lives before Russia brokered a ceasefire that saw Yerevan cede swathes of territory it had controlled for decades.

In November, Russian President Vladimir Putin brought together Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev for negotiations on easing post-war tensions.

Armenia and Turkey in 2009 signed an agreement to normalise relations, which would have led to the opening up of their shared border.

But Armenia never ratified the agreement and in 2018 ditched the process.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.