Turkey, Armenia start talks to restore relations

Published on : 14/01/2022 – 11:05

Emissaries from Turkey and Armenia take part in a first round of talks in Moscow on Friday aimed at normalizing their ties, a move that Armenia hopes will lead to the establishment of diplomatic relations and the reopening of borders after decades of animosity.

A new attempt at reconciliation. Turkey and Armenia begin, Friday, January 14, a first round of talks through emissaries sent to Moscow. For Yerevan, it is a first step towards the establishment of diplomatic relations and the reopening of the borders between the two countries, after decades of animosity in particular around the litigation of the massacre of the Armenians under the Ottoman Empire.

Ankara and Yerevan have had no diplomatic or commercial relations for decades, despite a peace agreement concluded in 2009 but never ratified. The talks are the first attempt since that date to reestablish ties that have remained strained.

The two neighbors display differences on a range of issues, with the main point of contention being the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians under the Ottoman Empire. Yerevan – as well as around thirty other capitals, including Paris and Washington – considers the event a genocide, which Ankara refutes.

Turkey admits that many Armenians who lived under the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes during World War I, but it disputes the record and denies any systematic execution.

During the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh at the end of 2020, Ankara supported Baku and accused Armenian troops of occupying the territory of Azerbaijan. He began to advocate for rapprochement after the conflict, as he seeks to expand his influence in the region.

According to the Russian Tass news agency, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Armenia hoped the talks would lead to the establishment of diplomatic relations and the opening of borders closed since 1993.

Last year, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu said that as part of the rapprochement the two countries would also open air links – these should start next month.

Despite Washington’s desire to see relations between the two countries normalize, while a large Armenian diaspora is present in the United States, analysts believe that the discussions will be complicated. Washington angered Ankara by calling the 1915 massacre “genocide” last year.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Armenia needed to establish good relations with Azerbaijan for normalization efforts to bear fruit.

With Reuters

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