ANKARA (TASS) — Turkey and Armenia may appoint special envoys for the normalization of bilateral relations, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.
“We with Armenia will soon appoint special envoys to take steps toward the normalization [of bilateral relations]. We will also open chartered flights with the Armenian capital city Yerevan,” Turkey’s NTV channel quoted him as saying.
According to the Turkish top diplomat, each step in this direction will be taken jointly with Azerbaijan.
Turkey’s surprise overture is in line with a request by President Joe Biden, who urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during an October meeting in Rome to open the country’s border with landlocked Armenia, a senior Turkish official previously told Bloomberg. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 to protest Armenia’s war with Azerbaijan at the time, which ended a year later.
Turkey hopes that taking steps to normalize ties with Armenia will help Ankara improve its strained relations with Washington over its purchase of Russia air defenses.
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said back in September that Moscow was ready to continue its efforts to help Ankara and Yerevan improve their relations and saw positive signals from the sides. According to Zakharova, normalizing relations between these countries would promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region.