Turkish, Armenian Leaders Eye Ties in First Talks Since 2009




  • In World
  • 2022-10-06 18:53:12Z
  • By Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan met Thursday to hold the first talks in 13 years between the leaders of the two countries amid a push to establish diplomatic relations.

Most Read from Bloomberg

  • Nord Stream Leaks Caused by Detonations in Sign of Sabotage

  • Trump Says US Agency Packed Top-Secret Documents. These Emails Suggest Otherwise.

  • Kremlin Lets State Media Tell Some Truths About Putin's Stalling War

  • Musk's Twitter Takeover Hits Snag Over Debt-Financing Issue

  • Stocks Slide With Anxiety Running High Before Jobs: Markets Wrap

"I sincerely believe that we can achieve our goal of full normalization in our region on the basis of good neighborliness," Erdogan told a televised presser after meeting Pashinyan. "There were certain demands and they were duly conveyed to our special envoys," he said without elaborating. Foreign ministers of both countries were also instructed to prepare to take steps to forward the normalization process, Erdogan said.

The meeting in Prague comes as the two sides seek to overcome the legacy of decades of hostility linked to the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey that the US, Russia, France and many other nations recognize as genocide, a characterization Ankara rejects. It's the first encounter between the leaders of Turkey and Armenia since a failed effort to build ties in 2009.

The talks take place as international efforts also intensify to resolve Armenia's conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan over the long-disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan, and gave military support to its ally during a 44-day war two years ago that killed thousands until Russian President Vladimir Putin brokered a truce.

Since then, Pashinyan and Erdogan have started a process to try to establish ties. Azerbaijan and Armenia also began talks aimed at reaching a comprehensive peace agreement even as hundreds have died in repeated border clashes between their troops.

In the latest fighting last month, Armenia accused Azerbaijan of invading some of its territory, prompting interventions from the US and France to try to ease tensions and persuade Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to pull back. Azerbaijan denies occupying Armenian territory.

Aliyev and Pashinyan are due to hold four-way talks in the Czech capital on Thursday with French President Emmanuel Macron and European Council President Charles Michel. Erdogan is also expected to meet with Macron at the informal summit of European leaders in Prague.

Armenia and Azerbaijan are striving to delineate their common border and to open up transport routes as part of the cease-fire accord. Aliyev expressed "optimism" Wednesday about reaching a peace deal.

"We are adopting a peace agenda," Pashinyan told Armenian lawmakers in the capital Yerevan on Wednesday. "I see a path to follow."

The clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan "have cast a shadow over a beautiful climate," Erdogan said Sept. 20. Still, he said, "We believe that it is possible to sign a comprehensive peace agreement between the two countries as soon as possible."

Erdogan has argued that Azerbaijan's defeat of Armenia means there is no longer an obstacle to establishing relations between Ankara and Yerevan. Representatives of the two sides began talks in Moscow in January and agreed in July to begin direct air cargo trade and to open their border to citizens of third countries.

The legacy of the killings of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians more than a century ago isn't on the agenda. Pashinyan has said that recognition of the Armenian genocide "has never been a precondition" for establishing relations.

During the 2020 war, Azerbaijan took over part of Nagorno-Karabakh and reclaimed seven surrounding districts that Armenian forces had occupied for decades. Under the truce negotiated by Putin, Russia deployed 2,000 troops as peacekeepers to Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave largely populated by Armenians that is recognized internationally as part of Azerbaijan.

(Updates with remarks from Erdogan in second paragraph)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • The Massive Gas Field That Europe Can't Use

  • Even After $100 Billion, Self-Driving Cars Are Going Nowhere

  • 'I Am Energy': Inside the Bang Billionaire's Reeling Empire

  • Millions in Cryptocurrency Vanished as Agents Watched Helplessly

  • Musk Won't Own Twitter Until the Shareholders Get Paid

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Facebook Job Ads Illegally Discriminate, Female Truckers Say
Facebook Job Ads Illegally Discriminate, Female Truckers Say

(Bloomberg) -- Meta Platforms Inc. "routinely discriminates" in steering job ads to specific age and gender groups on its Facebook platform, a women's...

Musk
Musk's Neuralink Hopes to Implant Computer in Human Brain in Six Months

(Bloomberg) -- Neuralink Corp. has yet to achieve its primary goal of implanting a computing device into the brain of a human. And yet, in typical fashion...

Manufacturing in US Contracts for First Time Since May 2020
Manufacturing in US Contracts for First Time Since May 2020

(Bloomberg) -- US manufacturing contracted in November for the first time since May 2020 as output weakened in the face of a third-straight month of...

Credit Suisse Shares on Worst Run Since 1989 as Losses Deepen
Credit Suisse Shares on Worst Run Since 1989 as Losses Deepen

(Bloomberg) -- Credit Suisse Group AG's losing streak took the stock closer to the price that the Swiss lender is pitching to investors in a crucial capital ...

Xi Urges Calming Crisis in Ukraine During Talks With Michel
Xi Urges Calming Crisis in Ukraine During Talks With Michel
  • World
  • 2022-12-01 12:14:59Z

(Bloomberg) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping urged efforts to resolve the war in Ukraine during talks with European Council President Charles Michel, as...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World