Armenia anticipates that the dialogue to normalize ties between Yerevan and Ankara will result in the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and the opening of the border, which Turkey unilaterally closed in 1993 as a protest to the Karabakh war.
The first meeting of the special envoys appointed by Turkey and Armenia is scheduled to take place on Friday in Moscow. Ankara has appointed vocal Armenian Genocide denier Serdar Kilic, who served as his country’s ambassador to the United States. Armenia appointed Ruben Rubinyan, a virtual newcomer, who currently chairs the parliament’s foreign affairs committee.
On the eve of this meeting, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vahan Hunanyan responded to questions from Shant Khlgatyan of Armenpress, which published the interview on Thursday.
Hunanyan said that Friday’s meeting between the special envoys will essentially be “courtesy meeting,” adding that “It is difficult to expect tangible results from a single meeting, but this will kick off the process.”
Hunanyan said that the Turkish government shares the approach of beginning dialogue without preconditions. Yet Turkish leaders from the country’s president on down have often preconditioned normalization of relations on Armenia’s recognition of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, which includes Artsakh as part of that country. More recently, Turkish officials have also hinted that Armenia must accept a land corridor connecting mainland Azerbaijan with Nakhichevan—a scheme being advanced by Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, who has been calling it the “Zangezur Corridor.”
“Armenia’s expectations from this dialogue are essentially the same they were since the 1990s. We expect that as a result of the process diplomatic relations will be established between Armenia and Turkey and the border between the two countries which was unilaterally closed by Turkey itself in the early 90s will be re-opened,” Hunanyan told Armenpress.
“The Republic of Armenia has always stated its readiness to normalize relations with Turkey without any precondition. In this regard I have to state that Armenia’s stance hasn’t changed, and the same position is reflected in the 2021-2026 Armenian Government Program,” explained Hunanyan.
“As we have mentioned in the past, we have regularly underscored the need for preserving the ‘without preconditions’ principle in our contacts with international partners. Our impression is that the Turkish government also shares the approach of starting the dialogue without preconditions,” added Hunanyan.