Thursday, July 7, 2022
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Armenia offers Turkey to open border for diplomatic passport holders as first step, but Ankara is delaying

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EDITOR'S CHOICE

The next meeting of the special representatives of Armenia and Turkey for normalization could take place in Vienna, the Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Vahan Hunanyan said in response to a query from ARMENPRESS.

Hunanyan also commented on the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s remarks that the meetings ought to take place either in Armenia or Turkey, and the need for “courageous” steps.

The Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that Armenia offered Turkey to open the land border for diplomatic passport holders; however Turkey is delaying to do so.

ARMENPRESS: Where and when is the next meeting of the Special Representatives of Armenia and Turkey planned?

Hunanyan:  There is a preliminary understanding between the sides that the next meeting could take place in Vienna. The public will be properly informed as soon as the timeframes and venue of the meeting get final confirmation.

ARMENPRESS: The Turkish Foreign Minister said in an interview that they would want the meeting to take place either in Armenia or Turkey. What is Armenia’s position in this regard?

Hunanyan: During the previous attempts of normalization meetings took place in Armenia and Turkey on the levels of both negotiators and even presidents, but, as you know, they didn’t lead to results. I mean, what matters is the political will to reach normalization and readiness to take clear, substantive steps. We are displaying both and we expect the same from Turkey. If there is the will, the location of the meetings will become simply a technical matter.

Moreover, the proposal to hold the meetings of the special representatives in Armenia and Turkey shows that in Turkey’s understanding the process has an entirely bilateral nature. In this case, it would have been reasonable not to hear the virtually weekly statements from Turkey’s representatives that they are advancing the process in coordination with Azerbaijan.

ARMENPRESS: Speaking about the normalization of the Armenia-Turkey relations Minister Cavusoglu mentioned the need for “courageous” steps. How would you comment this?

Hunanyan: The Armenian side fully concurs with the need for making courageous steps. We have numerously showed readiness to move forward, including with the participation of our Foreign Minister in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum and the lifting of the economic embargo. The restoration of flights between Armenia and Turkey was also an important bilateral step.

We are convinced that the only path for moving forward implies continuous, clear steps. For example, we offered the Turkish side, for the first phase, to open the land border for persons holding diplomatic passports, however the Turkish side is delaying. We believe that this would be a small but substantive, most importantly logical step. We are hopeful that it will be possible to achieve results in this issue.

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