Armenia 'open to normalising relations with Turkey'

Armenia 'open to normalising relations with Turkey' with no preconditions
2 min read
23 November, 2021
Armenia's foreign ministry spokesperson said the country is open to normalising ties with Turkey without any preconditions, despite tensions.
Turkey's lack of recognition of the Armenian genocide causes tension between the two countries [Getty]

Armenia is open to an "unconditional" normalisation of ties with long-time foe Turkey, Armenian foreign ministry spokesman Vahan Hunanyan told local media on Tuesday.

"Some of our international partners, including our ally Russia, have stated that they are ready to facilitate the process of normalisation of Armenian-Turkish relations. In discussions with Russian partners, we have told them that we are ready to normalise relations without preconditions," Hunanyan said in a press briefing, according to Armenia's Arka News Agency.

He added that there are currently no negotiations to normalise relations at present and the two countries still have no bilateral ties.

In September, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country was ready for talks with Armenia but added Yerevan needed to take steps towards opening a controversial transport link through its territory.

Turkey was one of the first countries to recognise Armenia's independence from the former Soviet Union but closed its border with Armenia in 1993.

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Tensions between the two countries are driven by Turkey's reluctance to recognise the mass killings of Armenians between 1915-1917 as genocide and Ankara's support for Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute.

Last year, the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh saw its mostintense fighting in over two decades broke, with Azerbaijani forces vowing to retake the mountainous region currently then ruled by an ethnic Armenian breakaway government.

Nagorno-Karabakh is mainly populated by ethnic Armenians but lies within Azerbaijan. The territory and surrounding areas were seized by Armenian separatists after a war in the early 1990s that killed 30,000 people.

Both Azerbaijani and Armenian forces have been accused of committing war crimes including ethnic cleansing over the course of the conflict.