YEREVAN — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a telephone conversation with the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, the Armenian government press office said.
During their first-ever phone conversation Pashinyan and Erdogan discussed ongoing efforts to normalize relations between Armenia and Turkey.
“The leaders stressed the importance of the bilateral process of normalizing relations between their countries, which will also help to strengthen peace and stability in the region,” read the official Armenian readout of the call.
According to the statement, both Erdogan and Pashinyan said they expect a quick implementation of agreements to open the Turkish-Armenian border to citizens of third countries and to allow mutual cargo shipments by air.
The Turkish presidential press office released a virtually identical statement on the conversation cited by the official Anatolia news agency.
Special envoys of the two neighboring states reached the agreements during a fourth round of normalization talks held in Vienna on July 1. The Turkish and Armenian foreign ministries said after the talks that “third-country citizens” will be allowed to cross the land border “at the earliest date possible.” They gave no possible dates.
PM Pashinyan instructed Armenian government agencies last Thursday to closely cooperate with their Turkish counterparts for implementing the agreements “as soon as possible.” Visiting Armenia’s Armavir province on Saturday, he inspected the ongoing reconstruction of a local road leading to the Turkish border.
During the phone call, Pashinyan congratulated the Turkish President on Kurban Bayram, and the latter congratulated the Prime Minister on the upcoming Vardavar-Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ.
Monday’s phone call marked Pashinyan’s first-ever direct contact with Erdogan.