ANKARA (Combined Sources)—Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent a high-level diplomat to Armenia to discuss snags in efforts to normalize relations between the two countries, AFP reported.
Feridun Sinirlioglu, undersecretary of the foreign ministry, will meet with Armenian President Serge Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian on April 7, a Foreign Ministry source said.
He was to discuss disagreements holding up the deal that Turkey and Armenia signed in October.
Sinirliogu “will reassert Turkey’s commitment to the [reconciliation] process but will also convey our concerns,” the official, who requested anonymity, told AFP.
The envoy will also discuss “steps that need to be taken to ensure that the process moves forward,” said a senior diplomat, who also declined to be named.
He will also explore the possibility of arranging a meeting between Erdogan and Sarkisian on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in Washington next week, the sources said.
The Turkish-Armenian deal—comprising two protocols—needs parliamentary ratification in both countries to take effect, but the process has been held up by mutual accusations that the other side is not truly committed to the terms of the agreement.
Ankara is irked by a January ruling of Armenia’s constitutional court that upheld the legality of the protocols but said they could not contradict Yerevan’s official position that the mass killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire was genocide.
Yerevan, for his part, has protested Ankara’s position that the Turkish Parliament is unlikely to ratify the accord without progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, a close Turkish ally.