Armenia set to join diplomacy meeting in Turkey

The Armenian government will probably join a diplomacy forum in Turkey planned for March, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said.

"We sincerely want to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey without preconditions. If the process continues like this, it is highly likely that Armenia will take part in the Diplomacy Forum in Antalya," Pashinyan said in a press conference broadcast via social media on Monday, the Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced that Turkey had invited Armenia to the meeting scheduled for March 11-13.

Turkish and Armenian envoys held a first round of exploratory talks in the Russian capital of Moscow on Jan. 14 aimed at normalising diplomatic relations, frozen for almost three decades. Ties between the two countries have been suspended since early 1990’s amid Armenia’s conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, which the two countries fought over in late 2020. Turkey sided with Azerbaijan in the conflict. It closed its border with Armenia in 1993.

Turkey and Armenia signed two bilateral protocols in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2009 aimed at normalising relations, but they have not been ratified by either of the country’s parliaments.

"We want to establish diplomatic relations and open our borders with Turkey without preconditions. We have not been successful in the past and now we should use that experience," Pashinyan said.

Armenia handed back territories in Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan as part of a truce agreement signed by the warring sides in November 2020 following six weeks of clashes. Turkey provided military hardware and know-how to Azerbaijan in the conflict.

Pashinyan said signing a full peace agreement with Azerbaijan was on the agenda.

"Such an agreement should be signed, but first of all this document must be created as a result of negotiations. Armenia is ready for such negotiations," he said.


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