MOSCOW — Special envoys of Turkey and Armenia held in Moscow on Friday the first round of negotiations on normalizing relations between the two neighboring states.

Turkey’s special envoy Serdar Kiliç, a former ambassador to the U.S., and Armenia’s special envoy, deputy parliamentary speaker Ruben Rubinyan, met in Moscow to draw a road map aiming to repair ties after years of animosity between the two neighbors.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry said the talks took place “in a positive and constructive atmosphere,” with the two sides exchanging “preliminary views regarding the normalization process.”

“The parties agreed to continue, without preconditions, negotiations aimed at a full normalization,” it said in a statement. “The date and venue of their second meeting will be decided in due time through diplomatic channels.”

The normalization process suggests the establishment of diplomatic ties, the opening of sealed borders, and starting economic, trade and transportation projects between the two nations.

As part of confidence-building measures, Turkey will resume the charter flights to Yerevan, while Armenia decided to lift an embargo on Turkish goods.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued an identical statement on the meeting that lasted for about two hours.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Vahan Hunanyan, on Thursday cautioned against excessive expectations from the first face-to-face meeting of the two envoys.

“This will be an introductory meeting,” Hunanyan said in written comments. “It’s hard to expect tangible results from the first meeting, but it will mark the start of the [normalization] process.”

The date and the venue of their second meeting will be decided in due time through diplomatic channels, Hunanyan said.

Rubinyan met with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko ahead of his talks with Kilic. They discussed the Turkish-Armenian dialogue, according to the Foreign Ministry in Yerevan.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reaffirmed on Friday Moscow’s support for that dialogue. Lavrov said Turkish-Armenian negotiations will contribute to peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

 

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